A former nurse’s aid at a New York nursing home has been charged with manslaughter in relation to the death of a nursing home resident that happened under her care. The victim, an 86-year-old female, died in 2012 as the result of a fall that happened in the home.
Authorities say the nurse’s aid was trying to lift the resident into a wheelchair without assistance, though proper protocol required two employees be used for this job. The aid dropped the elderly resident during the attempted transfer. The patient began bleeding on the floor with what would later be determined as a fractured spine, fractured leg, and broken nose. Instead of seeking help for the injured woman, the aid first went to another aid at the facility in an attempt to convince the second aid to lie about the incident by saying she was present during the transfer.
While the first aid was trying to cover up the incident, the victim continued to lay on the floor of the home, bleeding and injured, without receiving medical care.
After the February 2012 incident, the victim eventually died from her injuries. An investigation revealed the alleged improper conduct by the aid and criminal charges were brought against her. Initially, state authorities charged the aid with endangering a vulnerable elderly or disabled person and with charges related to covering up the incident. On Wednesday, the charges were upgraded to manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide.
The details as alleged in this incident should be disturbing to anyone who has ever considered placing a loved one in the care of a nursing or rehabilitative home. When a loved one needs care, a family should be able to rely on a facility to provide the necessary care without recklessly endangering the loved one’s safety, as the aid in this case reportedly did.
Safety procedures are in place for a reason: they are necessary to protect the staff and the residents of nursing homes from injuries and accidents. Failing to adhere to safety procedures is irresponsible and a threat to the safety of everyone. If the aid in this case used a mechanical lift to help transfer the patient in addition to the use of a second employee, this accident likely would never have occurred and the victim would still be alive.
Perhaps most troubling is the fact that an employee of a nursing home who was trusted with the care of a vulnerable elderly patient was more concerned about covering up her error than seeking the medical attention the victim needed. Allowing the victim to lie in pain and in a pool of her own blood while the aid covered her tracks seems unthinkable, yet it happened here.
When a nursing home or its employees place their own interests above those of their patients, negligence may result and a patient may be injured or killed. This is true in any state, including Illinois, where incidents of nursing home abuse and neglect unfortunately are reported with frequency.
Nursing homes often try to cover up the evidence of failed care, as happened here, making it difficult for families of the victims to learn the truth. This is where a personal injury attorney can help by obtaining the necessary records and facts needed to uncover the truth, whatever it may be.
If you suspect your loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse, call the Illinois nursing home neglect lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. today for a free telephone consultation. There is never an obligation associated with our consultation and we are standing by 24 hours a day to take your call when it is convenient for you. Call us locally at (312) 924-7575 or toll free at (855) 529-2442 and let us help you today.
Prior Blog Entries:
Quality of Illinois Nursing Homes Is On The Rise, Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog, published July 11, 2013.
21 Nursing Home Employees Criminally Charged for Abuse of Alzheimer’s Patients, Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog, published July 5, 2013.
Nursing home aid charged with manslaughter, by Marcus Solis, ABC 7 News, published July 17, 2013.
Upgraded charges in NY nursing home death, The Kansas City Star/The Associated Press, published July 18, 2013.