MDH: 3 ventilator-related deaths at St. Paul nursing home in less than 4 years

January 04, 2019 07:20 AM

Three people have died at a St. Paul nursing home in the past four years due to ventilator-related neglect, according to Minnesota Department of Health records.

MDH released the results of its investigation into the most recent death related to a ventilator at Bethel Care Center on Wednesday.  5 EYEWITNESS NEWS confirmed the patient's name as 78-year-old Janice Skinner.  

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According to MDH records, Skinner died after her ventilator stopped for 39 minutes on August 19 of last year.

It's the third time MDH found substantiated neglect by Bethel Care Center led to the death of one of its residents since May, 2015.  According to MDH, in all three cases, the neglect stemmed from Bethel Care Center's oversight, or lack thereof, of the resident on a ventilator.

The first death happened on May 6, 2015. According to an MDH report, a Bethel Care Center nurse took a resident off the ventilator two hours early. 

When the nurse returned 25 minutes later, the resident didn't have a pulse and eventually died the following day.

Approximately two years later, MDH again found substantiated neglect led to the death of a resident at Bethel Care Center. 

On July 16, 2017, a resident died after their ventilator tube became detached. Bethel Care Center staff reportedly did not discover the detached tube for nearly an hour, despite the ventilator's alarm sounding.

When reached at the facility Thursday, Cory Glad, an administrator at Bethel Care Center, said he was "not at liberty" to comment on the allegations. 

Later, Glad did release a statement to 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS on Skinner's death.

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS also requested an interview with the Minnesota Department of Health regarding Bethel Care Center. That request, as of Thursday afternoon, had yet to be fulfilled.

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Tim Vetscher

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