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Trauma for Family After 82-Year-Old Resident of New York Nursing Home Wrongly Declared Dead

  • Culture.org
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  • March 20, 2023
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  • 4 minute read
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Trauma for Family After 82-Year-Old Resident of New York Nursing Home Wrongly Declared Dead

A recent incident at a nursing home on Long Island, New York, has caused concern after an 82-year-old woman was pronounced dead but was later found to be still breathing almost three hours later by staff at a funeral home.

The case of the 82-year-old woman who was mistakenly declared dead and found to be breathing at a funeral home has triggered an investigation into how Water’s Edge Rehab and Nursing Center in Port Jefferson handled the situation.

State officials are investigating the incident, and a representative of New York’s Attorney General, Letitia James, expressed that it was “awful” and stated that it caused “unnecessary trauma” to the patient and her family.

The woman was declared dead at 11:15am on Saturday and transported to a funeral home at 1:30pm before being discovered breathing at 2:09pm.

The situation was described by a representative of New York Attorney General Letitia James as “terrible” and they stated that it caused the patient and their family to experience “unneeded stress”.

Suffolk County Police have also launched an investigation into the incident. The woman was declared dead at 11:15 a.m. on Saturday and transported to a funeral home at 1:30 p.m. before being discovered breathing at 2:09 p.m. The woman was then taken to a local hospital, but no further information about her condition has been released.

Despite being acknowledged as one of the top nursing homes in the United States by U.S. News and World Report, Water’s Edge center and its parent organization, CareRite Centers, did not offer any comments despite being requested to do so concerning the incident. The New York State Department of Health is also launching its own inquiry into the matter.

This is not the first time such an incident has occurred. In Iowa, a 66-year-old woman was declared dead at a continuing care home, only to be found alive by workers at a funeral home some 45 minutes later. The facility was later fined $10,000.

The incident highlights the importance of proper handling and care for elderly residents in nursing homes and continuing care facilities. It is essential that staff are trained and equipped to accurately diagnose and treat residents to prevent such distressing incidents from occurring in the future.

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Proper handling of elderly residents in care facilities should be of utmost importance to ensure their well-being and safety. The incidents in New York and Iowa raise questions about the training and processes in place to prevent such mistakes from happening.

Elderly residents of nursing homes and continuing care facilities are often among the most vulnerable members of society, and it is the responsibility of the care facility to ensure they receive the best care possible.

This includes proper monitoring of their health and vital signs, as well as prompt and appropriate medical attention when needed.

The investigation into the Water’s Edge Rehab and Nursing Center in Port Jefferson should examine whether staff were adequately trained to diagnose and monitor the health of residents.

It should also consider the protocols in place for the handling of deceased residents, including the verification of death and the transfer of their bodies.

The incident also raises questions about the reliability of diagnoses of death. While it may seem like a straightforward process, the declaration of death can be complex, particularly in cases where a person’s vital signs are weak.

This is especially true in cases where the patient has underlying health conditions that may mask signs of life, as is often the case with elderly residents of nursing homes.

To prevent such incidents from happening in the future, care facilities should ensure that staff are adequately trained to diagnose and monitor the health of their residents. They should also have proper protocols in place for verifying death and the transfer of deceased residents.

Additionally, care facilities should review their policies and procedures to ensure they align with current best practices in the industry.

While investigations are underway, it is essential that care facilities take steps to ensure the safety and well-being of their residents. Proper training, protocols, and policies can help prevent similar incidents from happening in the future, ensuring the dignity and respect of all residents in their care.

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