Nurse Aid Charged with Manslaughter for Dropping a Patient
I was pretty shocked to read a recent story about a nursing home aid who has been charged with manslaughter for dropping a patient. I wasn't shocked by what happened because I've represented families of nursing home patients under similar circumstances. In the past few months I've handled 2 nursing home fall cases where the patient died including one who was dropped from a lift. I handled a third case involving an assisted living facility. Obviously this is happening far too often. I guess what I found shocking was that the nursing home aid in this article was charged with manslaughter. I suspect the criminal charges came from the alleged cover up. Personally I hope the nursing home aid isn't the only one held responsible.
Here's why I hope the authorities conduct a broader investigation. In my experience, while an individual staff member has responsibility, the genesis of these tragedies start at the top. The long term care industry is largely for-profit and profits coming from keeping labor costs down. Many nursing homes are understaffed leading to overworked and under-trained employees. In this manslaughter case, the nursing home aid allegedly should have had assistance doing the transfer. If there were more staff available one has to wonder if the patient would be alive today and the nursing home aid would not be facing prison time.
Here is a link to the article for more information: http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=news/local/northern_suburbs&id=9176746
For more information about the rights of nursing home patients, I've devoted a section of my firm's website to nursing home abuse: http://www.joshsilvermanlaw.com/practice-areas/nursing-home-and-assisted-living-facility-abuse
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me for more information at (804) 325-1199.