Louisiana VA nurse arrested for falsifying patient death records

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A nurse formerly employed by the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs was arrested Monday for falsifying records after a patient's death, according to the Louisiana Office of State Inspector General.

The nurse, 58-year-old Cheryl Poirrier, faces felony charges for multiple counts of filing false public records and malfeasance in office, according to a statement from the state OIG.

Ms. Poirrer attended to a resident at the Southeast Louisiana War Veterans Home in Reserve after he had fallen in his room and complained of back and head pain, according to the OIG. If a resident falls unobserved, VA policy requires nursing staff to perform neurological checks on the patient at specific times over the following 72 hours. Ms. Porrier returned the resident to his bed after the fall, but did not perform the checks. He was found unresponsive eight hours later and it was determined he died sometime overnight, according to the report.

When the patient was found unresponsive, Ms. Poirrier falsely prepared and filed reports that she performed the required checks. However, video surveillance shows Ms. Poirrier never performed any checks on the patient, according to the report.

"We owe our veterans the highest degree of professional care. Ms. Poirrier not only failed to honor that obligation, but made the situation worse by falsifying records to cover up that failure. That can never be tolerated. We will continue to do everything in our power to bring about criminal consequences in such cases," Louisiana Inspector General Stephen Street said in the statement.

 

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