Nursing Home Resident Dies After Being Left on Bedpan Over 24 Hours

The owner of a nursing home was found guilty of felony abuse and neglect in connection with an incident on Christmas day in 2005.  A 76-year-old resident at the nursing home, who was recovering from a broken hip, was placed on a bed pan and left there for 24 hours. According to reports, the bedpan became imbedded in his skin, causing an open wound that became infected and resulted in his death 5 days later.

The nursing home faces a possible $5000 fine and/or exclusion from federally funded health care programs. The case is rare for the conviction of an owner of a nursing home, as opposed to an aide or nurse who has direct contact with the residents, and may be the first of its type to lead to a conviction.

The director of the state's Elder Abuse and Medicaid Fraud Division is quoted in the report as stating, “Nursing home and care facilities are paid to provide round the clock care to those who cannot care for themselves… Protecting this population is of paramount importance to the [state] attorney general and similar violations will be prosecuted vigorously.”

To learn more about the conviction, read the story.

As the story mentions, a criminal conviction with potential jail time for a nursing home owner is a rare occurrence. Sometimes the egregiousness of the abuse or neglect is so high that the state criminal authorities must step in to protect the residents of that home. This case illustrates the importance of family monitoring closely the care their loved one is receiving at any nursing home or assisted living facility. You should not be shy or unsure about questioning suspected neglect or abuse and reporting it to the proper authorities.


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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