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New York nursing home's 2nd death investigated

Medford Multicare Center is under investigation following the second death in its 40-bed ventilator unit. Both women were in their 70s, and both were on ventilators. The state attorney general's office is involved in the investigation.

In October 2012, a 72-year-old resident of the home died, and, according to prosecutors, this happened because the woman was not connected to her ventilator. In June, nine employees of the center were charged in relation to the woman's death. They were charged with abuse and neglect as well as falsifying documents concerning the woman's death. All nine defendants have pleaded not guilty.

The second woman died on July 20. Authorities from New York State's health department were sent to the center, one day after investigators from the attorney general's office were there. A representative from the prosecutor's office said a ventilator malfunctioned. The nursing home reported that an alarm for the ventilator rang at 3:46 p.m. The staff responded quickly, but the woman died from respiratory failure within minutes. An attempt at resuscitation was made, reports say. According to family members, the death certificate does not support the home's timeline, and the woman's daughter is calling for the center's closure following her mother's death.

Nursing homes or similar facilities that provide individuals with care are obligated to assure that the residents are in a safe and responsibly supervised environment. The deaths, in this case, may be due to inadequate supervision or possible neglect and abuse. If an individual dies because of nursing home abuse, they may be held accountable for the death and liable for the financial cost to the decedent's family. An attorney may assist the family by reviewing the case as well as health department records and court briefs prior to filing a lawsuit in civil court.

Source: WABC, "Authorities Probe 2nd Death At Long Island Nursing Home," Aug. 1, 2014

Source: CBS New York, "Long Island Nursing Home Under Fire Following Another Resident Death", August 01, 2014

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