Bennington hospital admits that care was inadequate for deceased patient
Staff Report | October 14,2013
BENNINGTON - Officials at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center said Monday that two nurses in their emergency department failed to respond immediately when a patient died unexpectedly, thereby failing to provide adequate care.
The nurses, who have not been identified, will no longer be treating patients, according to Thomas Dee, president and CEO of Southwestern Vermont Health Care.
The hospital is expected to be cited for failing to maintain proper standards by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, which could result in SVMC losing its eligibility to receive Medicare payments. It’s unlikely that the hospital would lose that eligibility, however, as there are already actions being taken to correct the deficiencies.
The investigation looked at a patient who died of unknown cause. An autopsy was ordered in the case.
The patient came to the hospital’s emergency department and complained of back pain. The patient received an initial assessment but then a non-clinical staff member noticed the patient showed no signs of life and notified both nurses caring for the patient.
Neither nurse immediately checked on the patient. A few minutes later, the nurse in charge also noticed that the patient showed no signs of life. She immediately called a doctor.