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Patient found dead at Western State Hospital, another hospitalized

This Nov. 18, 2015, file photo shows a sign near the main entrance of Western State Hospital, the largest psychiatric hospital in the state, in Lakewood.
This Nov. 18, 2015, file photo shows a sign near the main entrance of Western State Hospital, the largest psychiatric hospital in the state, in Lakewood. AP file photo, 2015

One patient was found dead and another unresponsive at Western State Hospital, and Lakewood police are investigating what happened.

Both patients were found in the room they shared about 12:45 a.m. Sunday during a routine check, according to the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services.

Staff members started CPR before paramedics arrived.

A 28-year-old patient died; the other was taken to an area hospital.

It was not immediately known what happened to the patients.

“We are devastated by the loss of a patient and our hearts go out to their loved ones,” said Sean Murphy, DSHS Behavioral Health Administration Assistant Secretary. “We take patient safety and health very seriously as it impacts everyone at the hospital. We will conduct an internal review to determine what happened, and grief counselors are available for patients and staff who are shaken by this difficult loss.”

The agency said it is bound by confidentiality laws and could not provide specifics. It did say one of the involved patients had been away from the Lakewood hospital on an authorized leave and returned as scheduled.

It is a death investigation and will take time to figure out what happened to the men, Lakewood police spokesman Chris Lawler said.

Stacia Glenn covers crime and breaking news in Pierce County. She started with The News Tribune in 2010. Before that, she spent six years writing about crime in Southern California for another newspaper.
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