HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Two nurses have been charged after the death of a resident at Spring Creek Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Dauphin County.
According to the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office, Deanna Hamilton and Margaret Susan Nies were charged after a male resident fell and was seriously injured at the facility in December 2019.
The man was hospitalized and died on January 1, 2020, from a subdural hematoma after being found unresponsive after repeated falls.
The Attorney General’s office says a Grand Jury investigation alleged neither nurse followed protocol in how they responded to the man’s condition after the man was found on the floor of his room on December 25.
According to the Attorney General’s office, Nies disregarded policy without assessing the man for injury herself, documenting the incident, or calling a nurse.
On December 29, the Attorney General’s office say Hamilton was called to the man’s room after he was found on the floor again. Despite a visible head injury, the Attorney General’s office says Hamilton “failed to follow established protocol to ensure the man was properly assessed and monitored for latent injuries.”
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The Attorney General’s office says the investigation found Hamilton allegedly covered up the conduct “by omitting and misstating information on the man’s medical chart.”
Hamilton, of Dauphin, is charged with felony neglect of a care-dependent person and misdemeanor tampering with or fabricating evidence. Nies, of Hummelstown, is charged with a misdemeanor count of neglect of a care-dependent person.
Both Hamilton and Nies were charged on March 24 with bail set at $10,000 unsecured for each.
“The defendants were responsible for the safety and wellbeing of the residents under their supervision. They had multiple opportunities to provide this resident with the care he urgently needed, but failed to fulfill their duties as nurses and caregivers,” said AG Henry. “Our office is committed to protecting the safety of seniors and care-dependent Pennsylvanians, and will work tirelessly to hold accountable those who knowingly neglect vulnerable individuals.”
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The case is being prosecuted by Senior Deputy Attorney General Christopher R. Sherwood.