BROOKLYN - Police are searching for a patient who went missing yesterday from Long Island College Hospital.

Celso Heredia, 81, was last seen in the hospital yesterday afternoon at around 4:15 p.m., police say. Heredia left without being discharged, and police say he may need more medical assistance.

Heredia was wearing a blue and white striped shirt with jeans and black sneakers. Police say his last known address is in Florida.

LICH released a statement saying, "Federal laws are serious about preserving patient privacy, and so are we."

A judge has issued a temporary order to keep the financially troubled LICH open for the time being. Rallies have been held in support of keeping the hospital open, with some accusing SUNY Downstate of wanting to close the hospital to sell the building to developers.