Investigation launched after Indiana nurse unhooked oxygen from COVID-19 patient

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The Indiana attorney general has started an investigation after a nurse at Wedgewood Healthcare Center in Clarksville, Ind., removed a COVID-19 patient's oxygen mask and he later died, according to USA Today

The incident is detailed in a state health inspection report reviewed by the IndyStar, part of the USA Today network. The nurse, who is not named in the inspection report, described the incident in social media posts. 

"I just want y'all to know the hardest thing I've ever done in 28 years start a patient on O2 for 4 days 12 LPM. with a non-rebreather mask," she wrote, describing the treatment of the nursing home resident. "I asked him on day 4 if he's tired he said yes I said do you want me to take all this off for you and let you go and fly with the angels and he said yes."

The post continued: "I took it all off of him I went in the hallway and I cried and I let him go and he passed away ... after I left."

No additional care was provided to the patient for nearly eight hours until his death, according to the inspection report. The state cited Wedgewood Healthcare Center for abuse and neglect, failure to notify changes in the resident's condition, among other violations, according to the report. 

The resident's physician and his family were not told about the oxygen mask until after his death, according to the inspection report. 

In response to the inspection, Wedgewood Healthcare Center said it would increase oversight of resident progress notes, complete regular audits of resident conditions and assessments, and begin tracking hours by position to identify staff working overtime. 

Read the full USA Today article here

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