Personal Injury

Hidden cameras reveal neglect at NY nursing home

The records kept by LPNs Rima Chaudhry and Toni Miller and CNAs Betty Cheslak and Jacqueline Francis at Medford Multicare Center for Living in Suffolk, NY, showed they did their jobs. They bathed, changed and rotated their patients, followed doctors’ orders for their care. They even took precautions when moving patients to ensure no one was injured in the process.

But hidden surveillance cameras set up over a six-week period in some patient’s rooms by the Attorney General’s office told a different story, according to the North County Gazette.

The videos showed that one patient wasn’t turned and positioned to prevent painful pressure sores or given range-of-motion exercises to keep his muscles from contracting. And that one patient didn’t receive water through his feeding tube – his only means of hydration. The staff charged with the neglect also administered heart medication without first checking his pulse rate, which could have resulted in an adverse response in his medication. And rather than changing his briefs every two hours as per doctors’ orders, the patient was left to sit in his waste for hours. The video also showed that the resident had not been bathed in a week.

The four nursing home employees were charged with criminal neglect and charges against more employees are expected.

Hidden video surveillance is not an uncommon practice in New York. The state leads the nation in using such forms of surveillance to investigate the abuse of nursing home patients. To date, 26 New York nursing home employees have been convicted based on hidden video recordings.