Resident's asphyxiation, death attributed to nursing home neglect

Many families in Jasper, and elsewhere, count on the round-the-clock, skilled care that most assisted living facilities offer to provide the level of care that their elderly or disabled loved ones require. There are some cases, however, when the facility and care providers entrusted with furnishing that care do not fulfill their responsibilities. Since many residents may not be able to speak up for, or help, themselves, nursing home neglect can easily result in personal injury, worsened medical condition and even death.

It appears that neglect at a nursing home in Minnesota caused the death of a resident with Lou Gehrig’s disease in October 2013. According to reports, the tubing on the resident’s ventilator got disconnected from the machine, causing asphyxiation. Multiple alarms reportedly sounded to notify nursing home staff there was an issue, but the nursing assistant on duty purportedly did not respond. There was also a licensed nurse at the facility when the death occurred, but he or she was on a scheduled break at the time.

Following an investigation by the Minnesota Health Department, the nursing home reportedly received a citation for negligence. The assistant, according to the home’s executive director, is no longer employed by the facility. It was not reported whether the nurse faced any disciplinary action as a result of the death.

Anyone who suspects a loved one may have been the victim of nursing home neglect or abuse may find it of benefit to speak with an attorney, both to prevent future mistreatment and to seek punitive and compensatory damages.

Source: Star Tribune, “Frazee nursing home cited for neglect in death of resident,” Chris Serres, May 29, 2014

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