Nursing Home Patient Left Smoking Alone Dies from Burn Injuries

An 89-year-old nursing home patient died from burn injuries she sustained while smoking on the nursing home's patio.  The nursing home aide responsible for supervising the patient and seven others was in the facility's kitchen, came outside, saw the victim's dress on fire, extinguished the fire, and called 911.   When rescue crews arrrived, the burned patient eas still conscious.  She was taken to a local burn unit for emergency treatment.  She sustained third degree burns over 40 to 50 percent of her body.  The woman died several days later from burn injuries.  Read more about the smoking incident.

How tragic to sustain third degree burns to half your body and remain conscious through the ordeal!   The nursing home aide who was supposedto be supervising the patient failed her miserably.  Nursing home patients should never be permitted to smoke while unsupervised or placed at so great a distance from staff that staff is not able to respond timely if an emergency results.  This patient's burn injuries and death were so preventable . . . so avoidable . . . so sad.
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.