POLITICS
11/20/2013 11:50 am ET | Updated Nov 20, 2013

Creigh Deeds' Condition Upgraded To Good

WASHINGTON -- Virginia State Sen. Creigh Deeds has had his condition updated to "good" one day after he was stabbed in the head and upper torso multiple times, according to a spokesman for the University of Virginia Medical Center.

Deeds suffered the attack at his residence on Tuesday morning in Millsboro, Va. His son, Gus, 24, died of a gunshot wound at the home. Police are investigating the matter as an attempted murder and suicide.

Gus Deeds had a mental health evaluation Monday at Bath County Hospital, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. He was released because no psychiatric bed could be located across Western Virginia, Dennis Cropper, executive director of the Rockbridge County Community Services Board, told the paper. The Times-Dispatch reported that an Emergency Custody Order was issued for Deeds, citing an official source, but Cropper did not confirm that detail in a late Tuesday statement.

Bath County Hospital released a statement Wednesday saying that it could not comment on a patient's condition due to federal privacy laws, and that the facility did not have the capability for inpatient mental health services.

"Our rural hospital is not equipped to provide inpatient mental health services," said executive officer Jason Paret. "We depend on other health care providers for mental health services. Our protocol requires us to contact Rockbridge Area Community Services Board for assessment and treatment determinations for any patient needing mental health services."

As The Huffington Post reported Tuesday evening, Virginia suffers from a shortage of psychiatric beds, especially in rural areas like the one in which the Deeds family resides. However, Rockingham Memorial Hospital, a private facility about two hours' drive away, told HuffPost that a bed may have been available for Deeds.

"If we had gotten a call from a community services board, another hospital, etc. asking if we had a bed available, anytime last night or today -- in fact, in the last 24 hours -- RMH would have requested clinical information, and IF the [patient] met the admission criteria, we would have had a bed and gladly accepted that patient upon medical clearance," said Debra Thompson, director of corporate communications.

Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corrine Geller said Wednesday morning that there would be no press briefings Wednesday, but to expect an email update later in the afternoon.

Creigh Deeds was the Democratic gubernatorial nominee in 2009 and attorney general nominee in 2005, but he lost both times to Bob McDonnell (R), the state's current governor. He was first elected to the state Senate in 2001.

UPDATE: 2:50 p.m. -- The Virginia Association of Community Services Boards released a statement Wednesday acknowledging that many Virginians in need of care are put on a waiting list. "Many Virginians suffer from mental illness only to find a waiting list for services," said the group. "While the instances when individuals must be released because a willing hospital cannot be found are extremely rare, an effective safety net must assure that a broad and robust range of community crisis and inpatient psychiatric services must be available for everyone who needs them."

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