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Failure to respond to alarms could be case of wrongful death

Anyone in New Jersey who has spent time in a medical care facility for patients who need significant medical interventions are likely aware of the different alarms that can go off at any given time. While some are false alarms, medical care professionals must provide assistance, especially in cases involving a ventilator. Unfortunately, an aide and two nurses who formerly worked at a facility in a different state are accused of failing to check on a patient when her ventilator alarm went off, potentially resulting in a wrongful death.

The incident occurred in Dec. 2015. The victim was an 81-year-old woman who was both confined to a wheelchair and dependent upon a ventilator. Unfortunately, the three people now facing criminal charges as a result of the woman's death are accused of failing to respond to the alarms as required. According to reports, they failed to check on the woman for nine minutes.

When they did check on her, it was too late. She was transferred to an area hospital but ultimately passed away as a result of the injuries she suffered. The three workers recently pleaded not guilty to criminal charges stemming from the incident, including willful violation of health laws. If convicted of the charges against them, they could spend up to seven years in prison.

Families in New Jersey often find themselves in a situation in which they are unable to provide the care a loved one requires. As a result, they entrust their family member into the care of a nursing home facility and its staff. While relatively rare, events such as these leave families grieving the unexpected loss of a loved one. Many victims -- including family members of those who loss their life as a result of negligence -- often choose to pursue justice in a civil court. While a successfully presented wrongful death lawsuit will likely do little to ease their sense of loss, it can help ensure that other families do not have to suffer similarly.

Source:, "Nassau Nursing Home Nurses, Aide Charged With Fatally Neglecting Patient", Timothy Bolger, Dec. 28, 2016

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