Looking for answers: 12 days since Silver Alert patient with dementia reported missing
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - It’s been 12 days since Charles Allen “Chuck” Carroll was last seen Dec. 30 at Cabell Huntington Hospital.
Huntington Police say Carroll is 70 years old and has dementia.
Tuesday, WSAZ requested the missing person’s report on Carroll from police.
From that report, WSAZ learned Carroll was a resident at an assisted living facility in Huntington.
We spoke with the owner of the home where he lives, and she said Carroll was taken by ambulance to Cabell Huntington Hospital on Dec. 30.
The report said he was taken there after showing flu-like symptoms.
It wasn’t until six days later on Jan. 5, according to the police report, that Carroll’s social worker contacted Huntington Police to report him missing.
At that time, she told police she called the hospital, and staff told her they did not have a patient by his name.
The report continues to say, a hospital supervisor later told the social worker that Carroll left sometime between 4 p.m. Dec. 30 and 2 p.m. Jan. 4.
WSAZ reached out to Cabell Huntington Hospital, asking for its protocols when someone is brought to the ER from an assisted care facility with memory problems such as dementia. We asked how those patients are supervised to make sure they don’t wander off.
A spokesperson with the hospital responded:
“Generally speaking, if a nursing home or care facility transports a patient to the hospital, the facility provides a report of the patient’s condition so the hospital has the information it needs to treat the patient and provide for the patient’s safety.”
WSAZ asked for more clarification about the protocols for patients with dementia. They responded:
“Because information related to patient care is considered protected health information by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA), I cannot speak to a specific situation regarding a patient.”
We also reached out to the DHHR about protocols for social workers for how frequently they are supposed to check on the condition of their client after they were taken to the hospital for treatment.
A spokesperson has said they are looking into WSAZ’s questions.
A spokesperson with the city of Huntington said police have been given photos of Carroll and are keeping an eye out for him and have scoured areas near the hospital based on surveillance footage, in an attempt to retrace where he may have gone.
WSAZ has asked the hospital for the surveillance footage.
The missing persons report says Carroll has been known to frequent the area near St. Mary’s Medical Center, as his parents used to live in that area. He may also tell officers he is waiting on his cousin or some other family member to pick him up.
Anyone with information about Carroll’s whereabouts is asked to call 304-526-8585.
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