Falls that result in head injuries can be serious, especially for seniors who are in long-term care facilities. Most facilities have very specific protocols regarding neurological checks that should be performed and how often they should be performed after a patient has a fall. These checks are most often just for patient safety, but they can reveal serious injuries. Failing to conduct these checks can result in further patient injury or death, such as in the case of a patient at a Philadelphia nursing home. NBC Philadelphia reports on the story.
84-year-old H.R. McMaster, Sr., a retired U.S. Army officer and the father of President Donald Trump’s former national security advisor, died in a Philadelphia nursing home after suffering a fall.
A nurse, 30-year-old Christann Shyvin Gainey, is charged in his death.
McMaster had been admitted to the Cathedral Village retirement community on April 9th for post-stroke care. Three days later, McMaster was found on the floor by a nursing assistant, who alerted Gainey, the charge nurse.
McMaster died of his injuries on April 13th.
Cathedral Village policy dictates that nurses should perform neurological checks on patients who have suffered a fall. The checks should occur every 15 minutes for the first hour after a fall and then every hour for the next three hours.
Gainey falsified records stating that she had conducted the neurological checks, including one stating that she had performed a check one hour after McMaster had passed away.
Police examined eight hours of surveillance which revealed that Gainey never performed a single neurological check.
Gainey is charged with involuntary manslaughter, neglect, and records tampering in the death of McMaster.