When your loved one is at a nursing home, hospital, or healthcare facility, you are hoping they are receiving the best care possible. You hope that the staff is there to help you to provide care. Unfortunately, it is not always the case.
James Dempsey, World War II veteran died in a very different way, without any care or help from his nurses. (1)
Elderly Patient Died While Nurses Were Laughing
Authorities launched a criminal investigation after they were able to obtain a very disturbing video that recorded the incident. The video was originally the part of a lawsuit that Dempsey’s family filed against the Northeast Atlanta Health and Rehabilitation Center. (2)
So what really happened?
The video was taken on February 27, 2014. It showed James Dempsey gasping for air and calling the nurses at least six times. He eventually lost consciousness by the time the nurses arrived.
Finally, there was help. Except there wasn’t.
While one of the nurses claimed that they were doing CPR until paramedic help from 911 arrived, this was not true. The cameras show no indication that they ever performed CPR or helped the patient. The camera even caught the two nurses laughing as the veteran was gasping for help.
While one announced that he was dead, neither nurses cared to check vitals.
What’s more disturbing is that that according to the video, Dempsey was unresponsive at 5:28 am, however, the nurses didn’t call 911 until 6:25 am. They waited nearly an hour for help to arrive.
During her testimony, Wanda Nuckles, nursing supervisor claimed that when they noticed that Dempsey wasn’t breathing they rushed to the room to do CPR. When she was confronted with the video, she changed her testimony. She said that it was an honest mistake, and she was basing everything on her regular routine of patient care.
Why was she laughing? She said she didn’t remember. We will never know what was so funny in such a heart-breaking situation.
The nursing home attempted to stop the video from being released, however, the judge refused to seal the footage and now you can see it too.
Brookhaven Police launched an investigation against the nurses. (3)
Loyce Picquet Agyeman, nurse was charged with felony murder and neglect of an elderly. Wanda Nuckles was charged with depriving an elderly of essential services. Mable Turman, a nursing assistant was also charged with neglect. They were also indicted on a single count of concealing the death of another. There have been warrants issued for their arrests.
The nursing home didn’t want to make a statement. They fired the nurses once they became aware of the video. They have received a fine and a low score from Medicare. However, they claim that they are under new leadership with a new staff and ready to improve their quality of care.
The video is horrifying. We sure hope that this is not a common practice among nursing homes. Most nurses are caring individuals, who deeply care about their patients and are there to provide the best service. However, it is important to have better quality assurance in place to ensure that such incidents cannot happen. Every patient deserves care, help when needed, and when the time comes, to die with dignity.
What do you think about this story? What are your personal experiences at hospitals and nursing homes? Share your thoughts with us. We would love to hear from you.