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Fall outside nursing home results in death

Published on December 31st, 2008

News Channel 36 in Concord, North Carolina had a tragic story of a resident  who fell to her death at a nursing home.  State inspectors have launched an investigation at the Concord nursing home.

The 87-year-old woman was found with a massive head injury on the ground beside an outside loading dock.   The article mentions that a fence near the loading dock is brand new, clearly installed after the patient at Concords Five Oaks Manor Nursing Home was found on the ground.  She’d fallen 4 feet to the ground, hit her head and died after being rushed to the emergency room.

The nursing home administrator did not report the woman’s fall or death to the state.  A state spokesman says someone else reported it to them. Concord police told News Channel 36 the same thing.

Just last week Medicare ranked Five Oaks among the worst nursing homes in the country with just one out of five stars. Two state inspections from this year showed deficiencies. One cites accident and supervision problems, with one example where a patient "was on the floor" and staff had to be "disciplined."   Another said a patient was "outside the building."

 Channel 36 had a follow up to this story here.  In the follow up article, the family expressed concern that someone else could die there. The family says she had gotten out of the facility before.

Her daughter, Rosemary Ritchie, said she is worried about other patients at Five Oaks Manor. Doctors told her that her 87-year-old mother was brain dead because of a fall that the nursing home could have prevented.

She says her mom somehow got through a kitchen door that didn’t have an alarm or lock on it. That door led out to the back of the facility and a loading dock. "I put her there trusting they would keep her safe and then this happened. It’s not right," Ritchie said.

News Channel 36 tried repeatedly to get in touch with management at the nursing home and were told they would not comment.

Joe Pioletti
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