On December 21, 2012, an aide at a nursing home facility located in Waconia, Minnesota failed to perform CPR on a nursing home resident, claiming that he was “too tired” to perform CPR, after which the resident died. While some nursing home residents choose to instruct their health care providers to not perform CPR (a “do not resuscitate” order) if they become unresponsive while they are a resident of the nursing home, the Minnesota nursing home resident and her physician instructed that CPR be performed if the she became unresponsive while in the nursing home. In fact, the physician’s order placed in the resident’s nursing home chart at the time of her admission stated “Do Resuscitate,” which required the nursing home staff to perform CPR if she did not have a pulse and was not breathing.
The nursing aide reportedly told a nurse at the nursing home that he was tired at the time that the resident became unresponsive and that he was “not thinking clearly” at the time. Therefore, he failed to either call 911 or perform CPR, although he had been trained to do both. An investigation into the matter by the Minnesota Department of Health (“MDH”) determined that there was neglect by the nursing home aide. The incident resulted in the nursing home employee resigning from his job at the nursing home and his name and the finding of neglect being placed in a nursing aide registry maintained by the MDH.
The 86-year-old woman was legally blind, had osteoporosis that resulted in severe back pain, and used oxygen to breath. Her son had been taking care of her at home for three years until he could no longer provide for her needs (the woman needed around-the-clock care, she could not walk, and her son had to carry her to bed). The woman was brought to the hospital in April 2012, where she stayed for only a few days before being discharged to the nursing home.
The son reportedly stated about his mother’s death at the nursing home, “She was a great person and she didn’t deserve to have that happen to her, and I just don’t want that to happen to anyone else. Just hard to lose her. I can understand everybody’s got to die, but you don’t have to die because someone is too tired to dial the phone.”
The nursing home responded to the results of the MDH investigation by stating that all of their procedures and policies were in place and the nursing aide was solely responsible for the woman’s death for failing to take the actions he was trained to do.
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