Boundary Waters Care Center Investigated For Neglect

Updated: 08/22/2014 10:30 PM
Created: 08/22/2014 5:21 PM
By: Laurie Stribling

The Minnesota Department of Health said a nurse at the Boundary Waters Care Center neglected to provide proper care to a resident who later died.

An investigative report was substantiated and the care center said the nurse was suspended and subsequently terminated.

The report said it started when a resident began to have heavy, labored breathing.

"The alleged perpetrator administered supplemental oxygen to the resident per facility standing orders, however did not notify the physician per facility policy," according to the report.

The state said the resident's oxygen saturation level improved, but did not become normal. Still, the report said the nurse prepped the resident for an appointment two and half hours away.

"The oxygen was removed when the transport van arrived," according to the document. "The alleged perpetrator did not recheck the resident's vital signs. Two and a half hours later; when the driver reached the destination; the resident was found slumped over and had no pulse."

The report said the resident was taken to a nearby hospital and pronounced dead.

The Boundary Waters Care Center Executive Director Lynn Hickey said a safe environment for residents is a priority.

"Immediately following this occurrence, all nurses were re-educated on the use of standing orders and the process of notifying the physician of resident changes in condition," Hickey said in a statement provided to Eyewitness News. "As a result of our own internal investigation, appropriate actions were taken and the staff member involved was suspended and subsequently terminated."

Two other substantiated investigations include one in April 2012 for verbal and physical abuse. The other was in December 2012 for neglect of health care. In that case, the report said a resident was left in a room with the door closed and light off. The resident then fell and suffered serious injuries.

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