Nursing Home Abuse Charge Upped to Felony Charge

Posted on behalf of The Bell Law Firm, PLLC on Jan 27, 2011 in Nursing Home Injury or Death

An interesting case was reported in Massachusetts recently. A health care worker charged with a misdemeanor count of nursing home abuse has had the charge upgraded to a felony count of assault and battery to a disabled person. The new charge is punishable by up to 5 years in prison.The woman charged with the crime is a licensed phlebotomist and employee of the Pittsfield, MA, Berkshire Medical Center. She was attempting to draw blood from a 59-year-old stroke victim who is confined to a wheelchair.

The woman charged with the crime is a licensed phlebotomist and employee of the Pittsfield, MA, Berkshire Medical Center. She was attempting to draw blood from a 59-year-old stroke victim who is confined to a wheelchair.Accounts of the incident vary: Witnesses say the woman continued to draw blood from the patient even after the patient demanded that she stop. However, a spokesperson for the Berkshire Medical Center says the patent became agitated after she saw the needle in her arm and started to move her arm. The health care worker was holding the woman's arm in an attempt to safely withdraw the needle.According to a police report, the patient's right arm was injured during the incident.A fellow patient has told a licensed social worker that the phlebotomist was rude and would not tell the stroke victim why she was drawing blood.A criminal complaint was issued. Two summonses were issued for the woman charged to appear in court, but records show that but the woman has failed to appear. The woman's address and phone number listed with the court are either false or nonexistent.The incident was reported to all the appropriate state and federal licensing authorities. Now it is up to the courts to decide if nursing home abuse did, in fact, occur.Source: The Berkshire Eagle, "Nursing home site of more alleged abuse", by Conor Berry, 9 Dec 2010

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