Fatal injury to an 84-year-old Easley nursing home resident may have been heat related. The coroner reports that the office received a number of calls and complaints that the Majesty Health and Rehab center was alarmingly hot inside.
According to Fox Carolina, the Pickens County Coroner believes that the sweltering heat may have contributed to her death. Medical officials conducted an autopsy on the woman and are expecting results within the next six weeks. The coroner says that the elderly woman did in fact have pre-existing conditions that could have caused her death, but they still believe that the condition of her room and its temperature were likely a contributing factor, according to media.
“They said it was warm,” said Kandy Kelley, Pickens County Coroner. “Very, very warm in the facility.”
Our Easley nursing home neglect attorneys understand that nursing homes and their staff members have an obligation to keep residents cool and are accountable for all other living conditions. These homes are to make residents as comfortable as possible and to help to make their stay one with dignity. Unfortunately, there are homes that are understaffed and are underfunded. This lack of resources poses serious threats for vulnerable and elderly residents, increasing their risks for a potentially fatal injury inside their nursing home.
Local officers were called to the Majesty Health and Rehab center for a welfare check after some residents called and complained about the heat inside of the facility. When they arrived, they found the woman and noticed she was in serious need of medical care. They transported her to the hospital where she was later pronounced dead.
Accident reports indicate that the temperature inside of the nursing home was more than 90 degree Fahrenheit. Upon arrival, officers moved nearly 40 residents to a cooler area in the facility.
According to DHEC, the agency was notified about the incident but was unable to comment on it until the investigation is completed. In Carolina nursing homes, state regulation mandates that the temperature of occupied areas be kept no higher than 81 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer.
Dr. Hiep Pham of Greenville Memorial Hospital commented on the case and said that proper air conditioning is critical for our elderly loved ones during this time of the year. If them temps exceed 90 degrees, a fan isn’t going to help. If temps reach near 100 degrees, then a fan is only going to turn the area into a convection oven.
Residents are urged to stay in close contact with their loved ones in nursing homes. Visit and call frequently to check in on how they’re doing. Be sure to let your elderly loved ones know that it’s okay to call you at any time, especially when there’s an emergency. Staying active in their lives and in their living situations can help to reduce the risks of a potentially fatal accident like the one in Easley.
If you suspect nursing home neglect or abuse in the Carolinas, contact the injury attorneys at Lee Law Offices P.A. to schedule a free and confidential appointment to discuss your case. Call 1-800-887-1965.
Elderly woman’s death at nursing home under investigation, by Nikki Davidson, Fox Carolina
More Blog Entries:
North Carolina Nursing Home Neglect: Budget Cuts and Disaster Readiness, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, May 2, 2012
North Carolina Nursing Home Abuse A Problem, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, March 4, 2012