Because of the nature of nursing home patients -- elderly, infirm, weak and vulnerable -- personal injury is always a risk in these facilities. In most of these cases, injuries are purely accidental. Other times, however, the injury or death of a nursing home patient attracts suspicion.
Recently, the father of a former national security adviser died while under care at Pennsylvania's Cathedral Village nursing facility and retirement community. The cause of death according to the Philadelphia Medical Examiner's Office was "blunt impact head trauma."
While any case that involves a nursing home injury or death deserves a thorough investigation explaining the incident, often it takes the involvement of a prominent citizen to prompt investigative attention. A spokesperson with the office of the Pennsylvania attorney general indicated that the state is working closely with local authorities to review the "tragic incident." He added that the investigation is still in an early stage at this time.
According to a separate news report, this is not the first time a suspicious personal injury or death has occurred at Cathedral Village. After a patient suffering from dementia and Parkinson's disease died at the home in 2008, it operated under federal oversight for a three-year period. Further, the facility was cited for deficiencies seven times in 2017 and six times in 2016.
The figures above contrast sharply with numbers from earlier years. In 2014, the home only received a single citation and in 2015, it did not receive any citations. Adding strength to these disturbing statistics, a nursing home expert stated that the quality of care provided at Cathedral Village has declined in recent years.
Unfortunately, it is sometimes up to family members to insist that a suspicious injury or death undergo a satisfactory investigation. Attorneys and other professionals can strengthen a family's efforts to uncover the truth.
Source: Philly.com, "H.R. McMaster Sr.'s death at Philadelphia nursing home under investigation," Harold Brubaker, April 18, 2018