This is “America’s deadliest asylum” this institution was a District Training School for the Mentally Retarded. This institution faced many different issues such as under-staffing and many years of patient abuse and neglect. For many years all of the reports of different cases of mistreatment went ignored.The institution opened in 1925 sitting on 200 acres, the institution included 22 buildings. This was an institution for the mentally ill who “overwhelmed” their families. At this institution patients would be able to receive special treatment away from all of the stress. The property included a theater, gym, many different basketball courts, a recreation center, cafeteria, a baseball field and a few different play grounds. In institutions younger years patients were taught to milk cows and tend to crops, people described the institution as “state of the art” also in the institutions earlier years overcrowding and under-staffing were already becoming an issue. The institution had a lack of funding which caused the institution to refrain from evolving with new modern medicine. All of the education and recreational programs were soon terminated due to this issue. This institution was home to patients who were not mentally retarded at all such as, the deaf, dyslexic, epileptic and even foreign patients. Some were genuinely misunderstood as were others were just too much for their families to handle. The best way to describe the institution was a “dumping grounds for the unwanted” In 1974 a nearby orphanage closed down and approximately 20 orphans were relocated the institution and re-classified as “retarded” In 1975 the director of the asylum gave an estimate that 400 of the institutions patients don’t belong there. In 1972 the first case of poor treatment first surfaced, the case would last for years. Claims of sexual, chronic mental and physical abuse was the main focus of the case, at that same time it was revealed that the institution was only spend $18 per patient in day care, the national cost per patient per day was $30. The death toll at institution began to increase as well; patients became deceased due to aspiration pneumonia which was caused by being fed while lying down. An example of aspiration pneumonia was a mentally ill 17 year female old patient that passed away in 1976 due to aspiration pneumonia. In the 1970’s families were seeing more and more abused patients, one family reported in 1977 about patients being bound to urine soaked mattresses in locked wards. A case where a patient, a woman who suffered from a disease that caused her to try to eat anything in sight. While restrained to a toilet and left unsupervised, the patient tried to eat her feces and choked to death. The Justice Department had begun to review the evidence and take action. In 1978 the institution ordered the institution to shut down by the late 70’s the population of institution has fallen to 1,300.Between 1989 and 1990 ten deaths had occurred at the institution. A report shows that in 1990 only two physicians were serving institutions 232 patients. On October 14th 1991 the institution finally closed for good and most patients were relocated but it is a known fact that the final ninety-one patients had it the worse than any patient prior till. The final patients suffered from bowel obstructions, aspiration pneumonia, rashes and muscle atrophy. When the institution finally closed it only had 15 patients left, those 15 patients were assigned to one of the Districts 160 group homes. Cases from the institution would last for years even after it was ordered to shut down. Suits stated that patients aged 22 to 25 years old were kept in cribs and restraints for years, lying in soiled diapers.img_0830-3

This was the institutions 50,000 gallon water tower that was constructed in 1927. This was one out of the institutions two water towers, the other water tower was torn down in 1960

IMG_0831.JPGThis was the institutions 30,000 square foot administration building first opened in 1940 with only 2 floors. In the 1950’s the additional third floor was added on.The administration building could house 40 patients, inside you would find operating rooms, lab space and a psychiatric laboratory. On the lowest level of the building you will also find the morgue.

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The backside of the administration building.

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IMG_0874.JPGAn office located on  the third floor of the administration building.IMG_0871.JPGThe view from the third floor window of the administration building.

IMG_0872.JPGThe morgue located on the third floor of the administration building.IMG_0877.JPGA fridge located inside of the morgue.IMG_0873.JPGA dental chair located on the second floor dental offices of the administration building.

IMG_0875.JPGA old Pepsi vending machine on the third floor of the administration building.IMG_0876.JPGThe first floor hallway of the administration building.

 

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Opened in 1971, this 68,732 square foot building housed 200 of the most disabled patients.Inside you would find living quarter and classrooms.Stone walls around the building formed courtyards for the patients to have outside time.

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IMG_0885.JPGA child’s playground rocker outside in one of the  courtyards.IMG_0880.JPGIMG_0878.JPGIMG_0883.JPGA old arcade machine.IMG_0884.JPGIMG_0898.JPGA pair of men shorts from the 80’sIMG_0899.JPGLooking through broken glass on a door into one of the day rooms in the building.IMG_0908.JPGA medical office building (no information has been found yet)

IMG_0903.JPGIMG_0902.JPGIMG_0892.JPGInside of this 31,144 square foot building you would find recreational rooms, observation rooms and a cafeteria.IMG_0897.JPGThis is the cafeteria located inside of the building, inside of the cafeteria you can see Christmas decorations that were setup for the upcoming holidays.IMG_0894.JPGA playground located outside of the building.IMG_0895.JPGA woman’s staff uniform shirt found inside a records office inside of the building.IMG_0893.JPGA recreation room for children, on the wall there are mounted  toys for kids that are approximately 3-4 years old.

IMG_0887.JPGimg_0900This building first opened as a transitional facility for youths who were being released back into the community.Inside you would find 20 beds, examination rooms and recreational rooms.Later on the building was used for young girls who were non violet, such as girls who ran away from home.IMG_0889.JPGA pair of woman’s boots in the hall of the facility.IMG_0888.JPG

Actual photographed patient profile documents from”America’s deadliest asylum”

img_3730img_3732img_3733img_3734img_3735img_3736An interview with Dr. Yin Hung from “America’s deadliest Asylum”

I had the chance to sit down and speak with Dr. Yin Hung and talk to him about his previous work at ‘Americas deadliest Asylum’ (well that is what they say) Dr. Hung first started his work at a Tuberculosis hospital here in Maryland in December 1978, in 1981 when the hospital closed Dr. Hung was transferred to “Americas deadliest Asylum”Starting in 1979 at age 37 Dr. Hung specialized in medicine and caring for the patients at the institute.Dr. Hung discussed with me about how many patients had seizures and they only had 3 medicines at the time to help with seizures.Those 3 medicines were, Phenobarbital, Tegretal and Dilantin. Many people talk about “patient abuse and neglect” at this institute but Dr. Hung told me “Those people had a miserable life but we could not do anything but try to help them” he also told me “These are not normal people, they are severely mentally retarded patients” Dr. Hung told me about stories of patients screaming and moaning around.Dr. Hung told me stories of how the staff tried their very best to help patients, a lot of patients were disabled, not allowing them to do certain things on their own.Dr. Hung told me about patients who had too much fiber and became constipated, Doctors had to help them become un-constipated.That meant, Doctors had to reach in the patients rectum and “give them a hand” Dr. Hung told me about one patient who picked the top of his nose so bad it would bleed. “I was worried about how to care for the patients”Dr. Hung said.Dr. Hung started every morning by checking every patient to make sure that they are healthy and good to go, at 9:00 am every morning he helped patients onto a wheel chair so they could start their daily activities.Dr. Hung also discussed with me of a patient named Walter Tolson, a patient who had hypothermia and he was most impressed by the improvements the patient had made.This Asylum was notoriously known for patient abuse and neglect, however Dr. Hung told me otherwise, he discussed about how the staff had to be very cautious of how they handled the patients.It was not easy at all looking after the patients, patients were often restrained to keep from harming themselves.Patients who sat too long in a certain position often became deformed and skin damaged occurred, staff did their very best to help the patients according to Dr. Hung.IMG_4279.JPG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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