When a person is admitted into a nursing home, it is expected that the person should receive a high level of care. Whether the stay is long-term and permanent, or for rehabilitation, patients’ needs should be met, and the staff should be aware of the unique needs of the patient.
Cabell County residents will be dismayed to hear about a case of nursing home neglect that resulted in the death of a woman. The 72-year-old patient was at the facility for rehabilitation following a hospital stay for a breathing disorder.
According to authorities, the woman’s doctor left instructions that stated the woman should be on a ventilator. However, none of the staff followed those orders. As a result, the woman suffocated and died. It is also alleged that both audible and visual alarms were ignored by the staff for over two hours.
A whistleblower alerted authorities of the incident. The facility had not reported the death and had told the woman’s daughter that she died of a heart attack. The administrators, as well as some of the staff, then attempted to cover up the negligence by falsifying records and giving false statements.
In total, nine employees of the facility were arrested and charged. Two administrators were charged with concealing records that would indicate that other staff members ignored the alarms as they were going off. Seven staff members were also arrested. Their charges include falsifying records, ignoring audible and visual alarms and giving false statements. A nurse is charged with criminally negligent homicide for failing to read the doctor’s orders regarding the use of a ventilator.
The family of the woman who died, if they so choose, would be within their right to seek compensation for the woman’s death. A legal representative could help this family or any family who finds themselves in such an unfortunate situation determine what rights to financial relief they might have.
Source: WABC-TV, “Arrests in Long Island nursing home death” No author given, Feb. 11, 2014