Nursing Home Made No Attempt to Revive Dying Patient

St. Cloud, MN- An investigation by the state authorities in Minnesota found that nurses at a St. Cloud nursing home made no attempts to revive an elderly man who became ill and died last summer.

The results of a state investigation, which were revealed last Wednesday showed, upon entering the St. Benedict’s Senior Community, the elderly man instructed the home to utilize resuscitation procedures in the event of a life-threatening situation. But nurses at the home stood by that June night when the man became ill.

The Minnesota Health Department placed the blame for the man’s death on the home which objected to the findings, but did not file for an appeal, the Star Tribune reported. The state report found that there were three nurses on duty but they failed to administer emergency care of perform CPR on the man. He was pronounced dead later that evening.

According to the Star Tribune, the man was staying in St. Benedict’s temporarily. One evening, he experienced a shortness of breath and dizziness as he walked from his room to the dining hall for lunch. He was unresponsive but a he had a pulse when the nurses check. He was moved back to his room, but a few minutes later he did not have a pulse.

In spite of the resident’s wishes to be resuscitated, none of the nurses attempted life-saving techniques. A supervising nurse was contacted, but she told the other two not to attempt CPR because, “there was no witness to the resident’s last breath [and] too much time had gone by,” according to the report.

The man was pronounced dead 10 minutes from his initial feeling of dizziness.

Two of the nurses were suspended that day and then fired two days later. However, the supervising nurse remained on staff and underwent re-training.

A doctor confirmed that the two nurses should have done CPR. But they were following the orders of the supervising nurse.

Even though the home objected to the Health Department’s findings, they took several corrective measures to prevent future incidents like this.

A recent study showed that medical patients who need to go into a nursing home temporarily for additional intensive treatment are at high risk of being hospitalized again or suffering other injuries. According to the study, 22 percent of Medicare beneficiaries had to go the emergency room within thirty days of being released from the hospital or required acute care within 90 days.

The study and this story show that many residents of nursing homes are not getting the care they need or deserve. Too many nursing homes are understaffed or have poorly trained staff and their residents suffer as a consequence.