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Nursing home neglects resident, dehydration led to her death

Published on May 6th, 2009

Knoxnews.com had an article about the death of Hillcrest North nursing home patient Linda Darlene Carter.  The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation labeled the death as "suspicious" after the Knox County medical examiner labeled the death a homicide, blaming poor treatment. TBI spokeswoman Kristin Helm said  "We are looking into it as a suspicious death."  "We met with the (district attorney general) and he asked us to look into it more, to review it and come back and meet with him again."

Carter was 46 when she died March 27, 2008, at the University of Tennessee Medical Center after a nine-day stay at Hillcrest North.   The autopsy report by Knox County Medical Examiner Darinka Mileusnic-Polchan concluded, "Because of the nursing home neglect, the manner of death is homicide." The report states, "Linda Carter died of dehydration due to inadequate care following multiple blunt force injuries due to (an) automobile accident."

Carter suffered injuries including a closed head injury in a Feb. 8, 2008, car crash and was recovering at the University of Tennessee Medical Center before being transferred to Hillcrest on March 18, 2008, to continue her recovery, according to the March 9 lawsuit against Hillcrest Healthcare North and Hillcrest Healthcare LLC.

Hillcrest "failed to provide adequate fluids for the decedent to survive, not to mention heal and/or attempt to heal from her injuries.," the lawsuit claims. The suit also alleges that Hillcrest "failed to maintain accurate medical records, develop and implement a nursing care plan regarding her condition during her stay, and to properly track the progress and treatment of her health care issues."

The lawsuit was filed  "just to prevent it from happening to anyone else, to make sure no one else’s mother, grandmother or grandfather" go through the same thing.   "You expect better care under someone who is professional. You would expect to be taken care of – not neglected."

 

Joe Pioletti
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