Elderly patients at Maryview Medical Center in Portsmouth, Virginia were reported to have been left lying in their own feces and urine, choking on vomit, and unable to use nurse call buttons because they were unplugged, according to court documents filed in an apparent criminal investigation of the nursing home. Police are in the process of reviewing documents obtained during its investigation of the facility's nurses. Maryview Medical Center is owned by Bon Secours, a regional health care system in eastern Virginia. Read more about the investigation.
Some might find this "news" story shocking, but these facts are pretty typical of the experiences of the families I represent. When there is serious neglect that appears isolated on its surface, it's usually symptomatic of systemic problems that run far deeper. Pressure ulcers (bed sores, pressure sores, decubitus ulcers), falls involving broken bones, medication errors, dehydration, malnutrition with severe weight loss, and wandering and elopement are seldom the results of simple mistakes. The investigation of Bon Secours' Maryview Medical Center is likely to reveal what I know too often to be true -- bad care seldom affects just one patient without affecting many.
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.
Posted on Thu, February 21, 2008
by Robert Carter