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Former Nurse Charged with Neglect of Care, Other Crimes for Incident at a Pennsylvania Nursing Facility

A former nurse at Aristacre at Meadow Springs, a nursing facility in the Plymouth Meeting area, faces criminal charges for an incident which occurred in August, 2009. The former nurse is charged with neglect of care of a dependent person and reckless endangerment of a person for the incident in which the nurse watched as the elderly resident nearly suffocated.

The nurse allegedly watched as an 81-year old woman turned blue from lack of oxygen after her ventilator became disconnected. The woman was placed on the ventilator after suffering from pneumonia and dementia. The incident was the third time the woman’s ventilator had become disconnected. The nurse reconnected the ventilator the first two times. After the third time, the nurse—believing the woman was purposely disconnecting the ventilator—allegedly wanted to watch the woman suffer.

The woman was rescued when a therapist entered the room, saw that the ventilator was disconnected and that the nurse was not taking action, and immediately reconnected the breathing machine. The nurse claimed he had requested assistance from the nursing station, but video surveillance shows nothing of the sort occurred. The woman, who is already considered “at risk” for brain damage due to her dementia, is feared to have suffered more damage due to the minute or two in which she was deprived of oxygen. Had the therapist not arrived when she did, it is fairly certain the woman would have died.

These allegations, if true, are a case of criminal neglect. Fortunately, not all abuse or neglect in nursing facilities rises to this level. Still, nursing homes and their staff owe a duty of care to their residents of these homes and can be liable for damages where this standard of care is not met resulting in a resident being neglected or abused. While some residents may be difficult to care for due to medical or mental conditions, facility staff never have the right to mistreat, ignore or torture those under their care.

Nursing care patients and their families are entitled to the utmost of care and treatment when they entrust their care to a facility. Patients should not be subject to abuse, neglect, or mistreatment. Sadly, elderly patients often have difficulty reporting such abuse to their loved ones. It is important to keep alert for warning signs of neglect or abuse, such as poor hygiene, bed sores or depression. Our attorneys have successfully defended the rights of thousands of elder care abuse victims and their families. If you, or someone you know, have been a victim of elder care abuse, please contact us at for a free consultation. Our attorneys are available to assist in all aspects of your litigation.

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Gavin P. Lentz, Esq.
Bochetto & Lentz

Gavin Lentz (right) was selected as a "Super Lawyer" for 2006-2009 in New Jersey by Philadelphia Magazine. He has also been selected as a "Super Lawyer" by Philadelphia Magazine and the Legal Intelligencer in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007.

On September 16, 2002 Mr. Lentz was selected as one of the top 50 lawyers in Pennsylvania by the Legal Intelligencer.

He has made many television appearances, including on Fox News, The Today Show, Inside Edition, and The Phil Donahue Show.

Mr. Lentz is a member of the American Trial Lawyers Association and the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

As a former prosecutor, he knows how to aggressively go after a nursing home to prove the facts necessary to protect your loved one's rights.

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