Long Term Care Nurse Facing Neglect Charges After Failing to Reconnect Ventilator

A former nurse at long term care facility is facing charges claiming he allowed an 81-year-old woman to turn blue from respiratory distress and didn't reconnect her ventilator. The man remains free while awaiting trial. He previously pleaded not guilty to charges of neglect of care of a dependent person and recklessly endangering another person in connection with the August 2009 incident.

Authorities allege, that the former licensed practical nurse was responsible for providing care to the elderly woman who suffered from pneumonia and dementia and was breathing with the aid of a ventilator. They also say that the ventilator became detached from the patient on Aug. 13, 2009, and an audible alarm was sounding as well as a flashing light to indicate the malfunction. Another employee heard the alarm sounding for a prolonged period of time, rushed to the patient's room and found the nurse allegedly standing behind the door inside the patient's room, according to authorities.

Police then say, when the other employee asked the nurse if he saw that the ventilator was disconnected from the woman he allegedly responded, "I connected her twice, now I want to see her suffer."

The other employee, a respiratory therapist reconnected the patient's ventilator and gave the patient 100 percent oxygen and two manual breaths, detectives said. The patient survived the incident. The therapist reported the incident to her supervisors who then contacted police. For more, read the story.

Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia.

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