Friday, August 12, 2011

Care home's neglect was fatal, lawyers argue 

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Workers in an understaffed Charleston nursing home failed to properly care for an 87-year-old woman who had stayed there for about three weeks before dying of dehydration, lawyers for the woman's son said during the first day of a civil trial Tuesday in Kanawha County Circuit Court.
Too few nurses were on staff in Heartland of Charleston to make sure Dorothy Douglas, who suffered from dementia and Alzheimer's, was eating food and drinking water, lawyers for her son Tom told a jury.
In September 2009, Tom Douglas checked his mother into the Heartland home temporarily until a bed opened up at Heritage Center, a Huntington nursing home that is better suited for caring for Alzheimer's patients, Douglas' lawyer told jurors Tuesday afternoon.
Dorothy Douglas died in Cabell Huntington Hospital on Sept. 24, a day after her transfer to the new home.
When she arrived at Heritage Center after three weeks at Heartland, she was covered in bruises, sores and scars in various stages of healing, Quezan said. Crud caked the elderly woman's mouth and she did not respond to her name, sounds or pain.
"You will find that the reason," Quezan said, "is that she was literally dying of thirst."
Care home's neglect was fatal, lawyers argue - News - The Charleston Gazette - West Virginia News and Sports -

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