In recent months, there have been two nursing homes on Long Island where staff negligence has led to patient deaths. Authorities have made criminal arrests in one case, while investigations are ongoing at the other.
Suffolk Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing
Severe neglect led to the deaths of two elderly patients at the Suffolk Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing within four months of each other.
The details of neglect in both cases are grisly. One patient’s bedsores were so neglected that they turned into large holes that covered his back. After being taken to the hospital, he died from a septic infection that caused cardiac arrest. The hospital records show that the bedsores contributed to the infection.
The other patient had dementia and his care plan required staff to monitor him every 15 minutes. During a period of at least one hour, he was left alone and was found dead with a wheelchair seatbelt around his neck. It was determined that he accidentally hanged himself while trying to undo the wheelchair restraint.
Authorities are still investigating the matter and no charges have been filed yet.
Medford Multicare Center
At the Medford Multicare Center, the New York State Attorney General’s Office arrested nine staff members after the deaths of two patients. The state is charging at least one person with criminally negligent homicide.
One of the deaths paints a severely disturbing picture of neglect and cover up, from staff in administration and all the way down the chain of command to low level aides. The whole truth may never have come to light if a whistle blower hadn’t called police.
In that case, a 72-year-old patient had checked into the Center to rehabilitate after she had been hospitalized for a breathing disorder. It is alleged that a LPN didn’t follow a doctor’s written orders to hook the woman up to a ventilator. The patient suffocated over the course of two hours. During that time, both visual and audio alarms went off to alert staff that a patient was in distress and no one responded.
Another aide was nearby and not only failed to respond to the alarms, but later falsified records to state that nurses had responded to the alarms. Two other staff were charged with not responding to the alarms, one of whom had been specifically assigned to sit at her bed side.
As hard to believe as these events may seem, it gets worse. Prosecutors allege the facility’s administrator conspired with staff to cover up the incident. He also failed to report the patient’s death to authorities and lied to her family about how she died.
Two administrators were among those arrested in the case.