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Questions Remain Surrounding Nursing Home Death

The death of 94-year-old nursing home resident Irene Sansone has left her loved ones with may questions, primarily was it an avoidable tragedy? In August 2013, Irene Sansone was admitted to the Golden Living Center in Waynesburg, a small borough in Greene County, Pennsylvania, about 60 miles outside of Pittsburgh. For over 7 months Ms. Sansone was a resident at the nursing home until her death on the evening of February 22, 2014. It has been reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that during the night in question Ms. Sansone may have attempted to get out of bed and in the process her head became lodged between the mattress and the bed rail. Ms. Sansone’s torso fell to the ground trapping her body in the bedrail and mattress, ultimately making it so that Ms. Sansone was unable to free herself. According to the Greene County coroner’s office, Irene Sansone died as a result of “accidental asphyxiation.” While accidental asphyxiation was the official cause of death, Ms. Sansone’s niece and caretaker, Stephanie Jupina, strongly believes that the tragic accident could have been avoided with proper supervision. Ms. Jupina stated, “I think this is a serious case of neglect.” In such instances when you have a loved one seriously injured or killed while in a nursing home, and there are lingering doubts, it may be advisable to speak with an experienced Pennsylvania and New Jersey nursing home injury specialist.

Golden Living Center in their past yearly inspection had fewer minimal harm deficiencies than the state average. With the nagging feeling lingering Ms. Jupina scheduled a meeting with administrators from Golden Living Center the following day. The executive director of the Golden Living Center, Jackie Hainer, stated that the nursing home has 24-hour staff on site, with 106 employees, some full-time, many part-time, including what they call, “casual employees.” With ample staff coverage, Ms. Jupina questions who was the last staff member to check on her Aunt, and what was the nursing home’s policy for checking on nursing home residents throughout the night? Golden Living Center declined to comment citing privacy restrictions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. If you are considering admission to a nursing home, especially if the resident is advanced in age or disabled, knowing the nursing home’s night policy and use of bed alarms can be the difference between life and death.

Nursing home neglect can lead to serious and life threatening injuries. If you or a loved one has recently suffered a nursing home injury or death, and would like more information regarding personal injury representation, and to determine whether you have grounds for a case, please contact us online or call 1 800 7 LEGAL 7 for a Free Case Evaluation.

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