The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control and the Richland County Sheriff’s Department are investigating the death of a Columbia, South Carolina, nursing home resident who drowned in a puddle of standing water during Hurricane Matthew on Oct. 8.
According to a police report, the 66-year-old was in his electric wheelchair outside in a courtyard at the National Health Care – Parklane facility smoking a cigarette when he refused a nurse’s request to come inside.
The nurse left the man in the courtyard. When she returned several minutes later to give him his medication, she discovered the man in a puddle near his wheelchair.
Authorities are investigating the incident to determine if nursing home neglect played a role in the man’s death.
The man’s family has expressed concern that the facility was negligent in leaving their loved one outside in the middle of a hurricane, after South Carolina’s governor requested that everyone remain indoors during the storm.
The victim’s family says that the facility’s staff should have been watching him closely if he refused to come inside.
Facility administrators have commented that the man died while exercising his rights. They also say that the facts initially reported to investigators may not be correct, though privacy laws prevent further comment.
The victim’s wife says that her husband’s health had been improving since he began staying at the nursing home last year. His blood pressure had gone down and his blood sugar readings had improved.
If your loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, contact the Bluffton nursing abuse lawyers at The Nye Law Group.
We will fight for maximum compensation for the physical, financial and emotional damages you have suffered. We have a firm commitment to bringing negligent nursing homes to justice.
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