A Scottsdale, AZ nursing home resident died after in the burn unit of an area hospital. According to reports, the 89-year-old woman died after she apparently set herself on fire while smoking on a patio. The woman was left unattended while the woman’s caretaker was in the kitchen at the facility.
When paramedics arrived at the nursing home, they found that the victim was burned when her dress caught on fire. The resident told paramedics that she was outside smoking and tried to burn off a loose thread on her dress with a lighter. Apparently the dress caught fire and she received 3rd degree burns over 40 to 50 percent of her body.
Nursing homes have responsibilities to properly supervise their residents. Moreover, they must have policies to aid in resident safety. In addition to the fact that this woman was left unattended, she also was in possession of a cigarette lighter. Lighters are one of the most common sources of injury to nursing home residents. Nursing homes should have strict smoking policies in effect–banning the possession and use of cigarette lighters.