Patient ‘lost’ for three days in lift

Posted on June 26, 2006 

Patient ‘lost’ for three days in lift

A hospital patient was trapped for more than three days in a broken lift after sneaking away from his bed for a cigarette.

Relatives, hospital staff and police searched for days after wheelchair-bound Karlheinz Schmidt, 68, went missing from the Charite Hospital in Berlin.

It was only when technicians were finally called out to fix a broken lift that the severely dehydrated man was found – 80 hours after first getting into the lift.

Schmidt, himself a retired elevator technician who was left disabled following an industrial accident 16 years ago, said: “I left the ward to go outside for a cigarette but the lift just stopped.

“I didn’t have any water and it was really hot and sticky. The only thing I had to eat was a couple of biscuits that were in my pocket. I didn’t think I was going to get out of there alive.”

Schmidt’s son Roland, 35, says he now plans to take action against the hospital.

“It’s unbelievable that nobody noticed the lift was broken for over three days, and when I finally got to see my dad two hours after he had been found, he still hadn’t been given anything to drink. It’s amazing that he’s still alive. We plan to press charges.”

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from Ananova

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