Stuff Patients Have Smuggled onto the Psych Unit...

  1. I'm interested to know what kind of things you have found on your patients...
    Here are some of mine:

    Bullets
    hypodermics
    ropes
    knives
    a snake
    cyanide capsule (discovered too late...pt's family brought it in for him-he died)
    razors

    Anything to add?
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    About Meerkat

    Joined: May '05; Posts: 501; Likes: 6
    Forensic/Acute Psych Nurse

    20 Comments

  3. by   banditrn
    Good grief - your list beats anything I remember, which was either cigarettes or drugs!

    A snake? Cyanide capsule - were the family members arrested? Come on now, share your stories!!
  4. by   Meerkat
    Quote from banditrn
    Good grief - your list beats anything I remember, which was either cigarettes or drugs!

    A snake? Cyanide capsule - were the family members arrested? Come on now, share your stories!!
    I wasn't actually there for the cyanide incident. I was told about it after the fact...a depressed patient was admitted, his family flew in from abroad (Germany), and apparently he convinced them to help him suicide. He was found in his bathroom after they left. I don't think anything happened to the family---I'm told they were inflight by the time everything was sorted out.

    The snake was a python, non venomous. I'm not afraid of snakes, but I was certainly startled by it---just not something you expect to find. No one else would touch it, so I kept it until the shift was over in a box and gave it to the wildlife sanctuary next day.
  5. by   epiphany
    Quote from Meerkat
    I wasn't actually there for the cyanide incident. I was told about it after the fact...a depressed patient was admitted, his family flew in from abroad (Germany), and apparently he convinced them to help him suicide. He was found in his bathroom after they left. I don't think anything happened to the family---I'm told they were inflight by the time everything was sorted out.
    How very sad. I cannot fathom the pain this family would have endured.
  6. by   banditrn
    Quote from Meerkat
    I wasn't actually there for the cyanide incident. I was told about it after the fact...a depressed patient was admitted, his family flew in from abroad (Germany), and apparently he convinced them to help him suicide. He was found in his bathroom after they left. I don't think anything happened to the family---I'm told they were inflight by the time everything was sorted out.

    The snake was a python, non venomous. I'm not afraid of snakes, but I was certainly startled by it---just not something you expect to find. No one else would touch it, so I kept it until the shift was over in a box and gave it to the wildlife sanctuary next day.
    That's terrible about the depressed patient. When I worked in ICU, all suicide attempts spent at least 1 night there - most of it was BS, but the occasional pt. was serious, and I used to feel so helpless, knowing that there was little I could do to REALLY help them.

    Back to the snake - was it very big? How on earth did he get it in there? When I worked in psych, all belongings were search for 'contraband'.
  7. by   nursesarah
    one pt in my previous clinical placement hid a lighter up his anus...then proceeded to light his room on fire.
  8. by   Thanet
    A Rabbit... and cage.
  9. by   santhony44
    A box of thumbtacks. Smuggled onto the psych unit by a patient's husband.

    The patient then swallowed them.

    They were able to remove them by endoscopy.
  10. by   HM2VikingRN
    saw blades
    flashlights
    cigarette lighters
    cigarettes
    marijuana
  11. by   IWANT2BEEANRN
    When I lived in Eau Claire, WI, a guy smuggled a loaded gun into the psych ward of one of the hospitals then shot himself in the head and died.
    Turns out one of the administrators of the psych unit cut the nursing staff by 1/2 to make the psych unit more profitable. The administrator of this unit was terminated immediately after this incident.
  12. by   fleur-de-lis
    Holy Cow!!!! I am so glad I found this thread just a few days before I start my Psych clinicals!!!
  13. by   SaderNurse05
    We had a patient who told her family to bring her "works" up to the unit for "closure"...Another one who brought in peices of a gun..
  14. by   CaseManager1947
    I guess my two faves are 1.) a home made marijuana pipe constructed of aluminium foil, found it on the intake search in a sleeve lining along with his stash of pot. and 2.) an ice cold tall boy. I was doing the search on this guy, he had all his belongings on his back, I was going thru one duffle bag, and as I turned around he was downing this 32oz. cold beer!!! He was really thirsty, doncha know, going into detox!!!

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