The Ohio attorney general has indicted seven former Columbus nursing facility workers on dozens of charges following a patient’s 2017 death from bedsores.
Dave Yost announced charges last week against six employees and a contracted nurse practitioner at the Whetstone Gardens and Care Center. All told, the seven individuals have been hit with 34 charges, including involuntary manslaughter, with some stemming from alleged neglectful care of a second patient.
“This case goes to the heart of protecting the unprotected,” Yost said in a statement. “[E]vidence shows these nurses forced the victims to endure awful mistreatment and then lied about it.”
The first patient developed serious wounds on his body in February 2017, which progressed to gangrenous and necrotic tissue. Despite his worsening condition, nurses allegedly failed to take steps to save his life, with the man dying a month later from septic shock. A jury last week indicted Sandra Blazer, Jessica Caldwell and Kimberly Potter of involuntary manslaughter and gross patient neglect.
In the second case, staffers allegedly documented treatments that were never provided to a different patient, who suffered “physical harm as a result of the inadequate care,” Yost said. Records for that patient contained false information and forged signatures, with some care occurring at times when the woman was not physically present at the facility.
Five employees, including Blazer, were indicted on charges of forgery and/or patient neglect.
In a statement to McKnight’s, spokesman Ryan Stubenrauch said that Whetstone “vehemently disagrees” with any suggestion that its employees caused the 2017 death of its patient who suffered bedsores. He was transferred to the hospital five days before passing away.
On the second case, Stubenrauch said those issues came to the facility’s attention two years ago during an annual survey and were immediately addressed.
“As always, the health, safety and well-being of our residents is our No. 1 priority and we will continue to ensure that all of our residents receive high-quality care,” he said.