Patient choked to death at state home

April 3, 2009 12:44:53 PM PDT
A report says a severely disabled patient at a state home died when she slid down in a wheelchair and was strangled by a strap.An investigation by federal regulators revealed the woman had been left unattended for more than an hour. She was supposed to be checked on every 15 minutes because she was known to slide down in her chair.

The incident happened at the O'Berry Neuro-Medical Treatment Center on March 11 in Goldsboro. Three employees lost their jobs following the death.

Regulators with the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services found that conditions in the facility posed a threat to the safety of patients and gave it until April 15 to make changes. If it doesn't, it could lose Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements.

The State Department of Health and Human Services has not released the dead woman's name citing medical privacy laws.


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