Personal Injury

Health dept rules maltreatment was cause of patient’s broken neck

A report of maltreatment against Presbyterian Homes nursing home in Arden Hills, Minnesota, is being investigated following an incident where a resident suffered a neck injury and subsequently died, according to Fox Twin Cities.

Last April, a staff member at the nursing home noticed a bump on the victim’s head. The woman was sent to the hospital where doctors discovered a significant fracture to the woman’s cervical spine. Doctors suggested the fracture, which was at the C2 vertebrae near the base of the skull, was the result of a fall or trauma days earlier that possibly caused the woman to hyper-extend and injure her neck.

The victim’s family opted not to put her through surgery. She was placed in hospice care and died 10 days later. The Minnesota Department of Health filed a report on the incident and though it could not identify the cause of the injury or the party responsible, it did rule that maltreatment lead to the woman’s injury and death.

In a letter to the state Department of Health, the home’s director asked the state to reconsider the maltreatment ruling, saying that the incident was unfortunate but that there was no substantial evidence to identify the cause of the incident. The accident, the letter said, could have easily been caused by accident rather than neglect or abuse on the part of the home.

The Minnesota Department of Health is continuing its investigation into the matter and hopes to have a resolution soon.