The Star Tribune reported on the tragic and preventable death of Delores Rowan. Rowan suffocated and died on May 31, according to the Ramsey County medical examiner’s office. The woman’s injuries included fresh bruising on her neck, the autopsy found. The facility is at fault for allowing Rowan’s head to become trapped between the mattress and the bed’s grab bar.
Langton Place, which is operated by Presbyterian Homes, “had no policy, procedure or system to ensure the proper sizing of mattresses, the fit of the grab bars [or the proper] space between the mattresses and the grab bar device to reduce the risk of entrapment,” according to a state Health Department report released last week. The report said a nurse saw the resident on her back and asleep about 4 a.m. In a routine check 90 minutes later, the woman was discovered with her head wedged between the mattress and a grab bar. Resuscitation efforts failed.
Her husband, Michael Rowan, said that his wife’s suffocation “wasn’t the only problem we had with that place.” Langton Place one day ran out of the liquid nutrition she was fed through a tube. He also said she came down with cellulitis, a bacterial skin infection, and needed to be hospitalized. He said he also found caked feces in his wife’s pubic area.