Video shows resident left to 'smolder' after catching fire, family charges facility for poor response
A Chicago nursing and rehabilitation center did not respond adequately when a resident caught on fire while smoking, leading to his death, the man's family has charged.
Michael Lewis was nearing the end of his stay at Lake Shore HealthCare and Rehabilitation Centre when the incident occurred, according to CBS Chicago. A CBS reporter obtained security camera footage, showing that Lewis's shirt caught on fire while he was sitting in his wheelchair on a patio designated for smoking.
In the video, other residents attempt to put out the flames. Lewis then wheels himself inside the facility. There, staff sprayed him with a fire extinguisher, according to CBS. Lewis was taken back onto the patio, and he was not given cardiopulmonary resuscitation until emergency responders arrived, the video shows.
An emergency response expert told CBS that someone should have put damp sheets over Lewis.
Lake Shore was cited for failing to train staff in emergency procedures, and Lewis's sister has filed a lawsuit, CBS reported.
The administrator at Lake Shore was not available to take a call from McKnight's. The facility told CBS that no statement could be made due to privacy laws.
A Virginia nursing home faces a $1.5 million fine in a case involving similar circumstances. Joseph Roberts sustained severe burns after he caught on fire while smoking, unattended and in a wheelchair, at Carriage Hill Health & Rehabilitation Center in Fredericksburg, according to the charges in that suit.