A patient at a nursing home who fell and later died was
neglected by two health care workers there, according to a report from
state health officials in what appears to be an investigation into the
death of a chaplain who had been injured in Iraq.
investigative report from the Department of Health does not
name the patient because of privacy laws.
However, details in the
report match those previously reported about the accident on June 20 that preceded the death of a priest who was believed to be the first military chaplain
wounded in Iraq.
The state investigation refers to a patient who
hit his head after he fell out of a mechanical lift while being moved
by two staff members. He died at a hospital later that day.
investigation said the two employees, both nursing assistants, did not
follow procedures for using the lift despite having been trained to do
so. "Neglect did occur," the report states.
The employees, who
were not named in the report, will be barred from providing care to
patients in any facility licensed by the Department of Health. The
report's findings were also forwarded to local police and prosecutors.
report said nursing home administrators responded properly after the
accident and that the facility itself would not face further
The chaplain who was 49
when he died, became an Army chaplain in 1996. He was returning from
celebrating a Mass with troops near Mosul on May 29, 2004, when he was
struck by a bomb blast that severely injured his brain and cost him an
eye. He was believed to be the first military chaplain wounded in Iraq.
was hospitalized at both Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington
and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Minneapolis, and underwent
numerous surgeries. He had slowly started recognizing friends and
families, and spoke again for the first time about three years ago. He
was transferred to the nursing home at the end of 2006. For more, read the story.
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, August 27, 2009
by Robert Carter