Patient who fought hospital guards died of neck, spinal injuries

WASHINGTON — The medical examiner in D.C. has ruled the death of a man who died after a struggle with hospital guards a homicide.

In September, James McBride, 74, tried to leave MedStar Washington Hospital Center, where he was a patient, before he had been released, according to hospital officials.

McBride was injured during a scuffle with two security guards as they escorted him back into the hospital. He later died from those injuries.

The medical examiner listed McBride’s cause of death as blunt force injuries of the neck with cervical spinal cord transection and vertebral artery compression.

Spokeswoman Sylvia Ballinger with MedStar Washington Hospital Center told WTOP that the two guards involved in the incident are no longer employed at the hospital.

In a statement, the hospital said it continues to cooperate with the investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The hospital said staff began looking into what happened immediately following what it calls a “tragic event.”

“As a result of our reviews, we have integrated several new initiatives, including enhanced communications and training with all care teams and security officers,” the statement said.

The statement also said the hospital has identified a unique multidisciplinary team to respond to certain high-risk situations.

William Miller, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, said that no charges have been filed in the case and that the investigation is ongoing.

The Metropolitan Police Department didn’t comment on the medical examiner’s findings, only saying the investigation continues.

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