Expert: No proof evacuating nursing homes saves lives

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Emergency plans that emphasize the relocation of residents are not necessarily a good idea, according to dramatic courtroom testimony yesterday. An expert testifying at a negligent murder trial said that just as many residents may die by being moved.

"The bottom line on it all is there is no evidence-based proof that you actually save lives by evacuating patients from nursing homes," said Dr. Brobson Lutz. He was speaking as a defense witness in the government's case against Sal and Mabel Mangano, who face 35 counts of negligent homicide for not evacuating their St. Rita's nursing home before Hurricane Katrina hit in August 2005.

Brobson said he reviewed several studies on nursing-facility evacuations to reach his conclusions.

The trial takes a break today through the Monday holiday and will resume Tuesday.