Usually, when we hear about an incidence of nursing home abuse being revealed after video evidence surfaces, it’s the result of a hidden camera or some investigation by the patient’s family.
But in a recent case out of Queens, NY, it was actually nursing home administrators who came forward to alert authorities. Video images show a man falling in front of a rehab center nurse, who is seen doing nothing to help him. He then lies on the ground writhing in pain, bleeding, while no staffer steps in to help. Then, a certified nurse assistant is seen dragging him across the hall to his room. He reemerges a few minutes later, now with both a head wound and a jaw wound. He is dragged by his open, backless gown, which is now around his neck, back into his room.
Administrators called authorities. On the one hand, such action is to be applauded. But on the other hand, it’s what we should all expect.
We are used to hearing stories of administration cover-ups or facilities that are vigorously defensive of their staff and their policies – to the detriment of those they have promised to serve. It shouldn’t be so out-of-the-ordinary for nursing home administrators to immediately involve authorities in a nursing home abuse investigation that it is an anomaly.
In this case, patient is 51-years-old and suffers from a number of serious, debilitating conditions. Those include altered mental status.
The surveillance cameras are situated to reflect the goings-on in a hallway, just outside of patient’s room, where there is a nursing station.
The video shows the patient fall. It also shows the nurse standing nearby, doing nothing and giving no response. For the next 12 minutes, no one intervenes, People walk by. A worker at the nursing station is seen typing at a computer. Finally, at 12 minutes, a certified nurse assistance approaches.
However, rather than render aid, she drags the injured man to his room by his arm.
There is no footage of the man for the next 25 minutes. At that time, he emerges from his room. He’s wearing a hospital gown that is open in the back. The rest of his body is naked. He’s crawling along the floor on his back. The wound on his head is gushing blood. It’s also clear form this video the man now has a serious injury to his jaw.
Another 20 minutes pass. Nearby, two nurses are seen working nearby – doing nothing to intervene or treat the man.
Then, in another effort to get the man back in his room, they grab him by his hospital gown. At this point, the gown was twisted around his neck. In spite of this, they dragged him along the floor and are seen dropping him in front of his room door.
Now, two nurses and one CNA are facing criminal charges that include endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person (a felony) and a misdemeanor charge of willful violation of health laws. All three individuals were either fired or resigned.
The facility released a statement saying it had zero tolerance for abusive, neglectful actions by staffers. The center noted that one of the first things it did when it purchased the Hurricane Sandy-devastated nursing home, which had gone bankrupt, was to install those video cameras.
Call Freeman Injury Law — 1-800-561-7777 for a free appointment to discuss your rights. Now serving Orlando, West Palm Beach, Port St. Lucie and Fort Lauderdale.
Nurses Allegedly Left Disabled Man Bleed on Floor 20 Minutes: Court Papers, June 24, 2015, Staff Report, NBCNewYork.com
More Blog Entries:
Nurse Admits Cover-Up of Sexual Abuse, Neglect at Nursing Home, Sept. 17, 2015, Fort Lauderdale Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog