Patient Dies When She Wanders Outside Without Supervision

Nursing homes are being increasingly called upon to provide care to older adults who are suffering from conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. In many of these facilities, the residents reside in specialized wings or sections of the facility that are equipped to alert staff members when residents attempt to leave the facility. The residents are sometimes fitted with trackers or other bracelets or anklets that sound an alarm when they attempt to go outside or leave a designated area. However, in one case, staff members of a nursing home are facing criminal charges in the death of a nursing home resident, as McKnight’s reports.

On January 7th, 76-year-old Phyllis J. Campbell wandered through a door that had been propped open in the dining area at Hilty Home in Pandora, Ohio. She had been a resident of the facility’s memory care unit.

Campbell was wearing wandering management equipment that should have alerted staff members to her wandering outside the doors. However, the system was not functioning properly at the time.

The temperatures outside were below zero and the resident was not discovered until some eight hours later after she had succumbed to exposure. She was discovered in the courtyard, just thirty feet from the doors she had wandered through.

Two people have been charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection with Campbell’s death. The two people have also been charged with forgery for falsifying bed check records and gross patient neglect.

The two staff members have been identified as 36-year-old Rachel R. Friesel and 20-year-old Destini Fenbert.

A third employee, identified as 31-year-old Megan E. Schnipke, has also been charged with forgery and gross patient negligence.

All three are expected to be arraigned on May 16th in the Putnam County Common Pleas Court.

In instances where you or a loved one has been subjected to abuse or neglect within a nursing home, legal support can be pivotal. The Schenk Nursing Home Abuse Law firm is committed to representing your interests. Contact today for free initial consultation and explore your legal options.