Case Summary: The case involves a female patient with cerebral palsy who was living at an adult care facility. She was severely impaired and did not have the ability to verbally communicate. While at the facility, one of the staff found her to be not breathing. At that point, they called for the ambulance/EMTs and waited for them to arrive. No attempts were reportedly made to give the patient CPR even though all of the employees were trained in it. She taken to the hospital and stayed on life support for a while, but ultimately ended up dying.
Questions/Allegations: Were there any deviations from care regarding the care given by the adult care facility’s staff? How long would it take the patient to sustain an anoxic brain injury? Was the brain injury what led to her being on life support? And if so, did her condition at that time proximately cause her death?
Expert Findings: AMFS expert (Nursing Home Administrator) reviewed this case matter and provided the following opinion: The consumer had an anoxic episode as evidenced by her unresponsiveness, the 'turning purple' and foaming at the mouth noted. Per the EMT report, paramedics did not arrive on scene until 10 minutes later the incident. At that time, the patient was pulseless and without respirations. A manager was not immediately available and CPR was not initiated, which is a qualification of training required of the position. The staff failed to provide basic first aid to the patient and the patient expired due to the complications from being without oxygen for greater than 10 minutes, resulting in anoxic encephalopathy.