Nurse Faces Criminal Charges After She Fails to Obtain Medical Treatment for Bedsore Patient

By Nursing Home Law Center

Criminal Charges

Criminal charges are expected to be filed against Virginia Munger, a CNA employed by Homewell Senior Care (Seattle, WA), after prosecutors concluded that Munger failed provide any medical intervention for an elderly patient she was responsible for caring for.

The criminal investigation followed the bedsore-related death of an elderly home-based patient. In the course of the investigation, prosecutors learned that Munger deliberately ignored bedsores (also referred to as: decubitus ulcers, pressure ulcers or pressure sores) on the patient for at least six months prior to her death.

Home Care Nursing Services

In recent years, a new trend has emerged in the senior care industry with the increase in home-based nursing services. Many seniors today, seek home-care services as a way of living in the comforts of their home for longer periods. Home-care senior services companies provide a broad range of services including: skilled nursing care, medication management, cooking, homemaking services, senior sitting services and transportation services.

Home care services for seniors can be a great alternative to nursing homes, group homes or assisted living facilities, but it is important for the patient and their family to realistically assess their true needs and confirm that the agency can meet those needs from the start.

Similarly, staff at home care service companies should conduct an assessment of each perspective patient to determine what the patients real needs are and make a determination if the company can indeed meet those expectations. A plan of care should be prepared by the home care agency to assure the needs of their clients are regularly met. The care needs of each client should be re-assessed on a regular basis to ensure the that the patients needs can be met on an ongoing basis.

In the case above, fault surely lies on the shoulders of the CNA responsible for caring for the elderly woman. Nonetheless, I also believe the senior care company who employed the CNA should shoulder some of the responsibility as well. If in fact the company allowed the CNA to essentially work in isolation– without the oversight of supervisors, the company would likely be found negligent for failing to supervise its employees.

On the other hand, if the senior company did in fact send a supervisor to periodically check-in on this woman– yet failed to observe the bedsores or take any invention– I think similar criminal charges would be deserving.

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