Several nurses employed at Whetstone Gardens and Care Center in Columbus, Ohio, have been indicted for charges including patient neglect, involuntary manslaughter, and forgery, among others.
Several nurses from the Whetstone Gardens and Care Center in Columbus, Ohio, have been indicated for mistreating patients, according to the state’s attorney general. Six of the nurses charged are either current or former employees of the center and the seventh individual was a contracted certified nurse.
Yost, Ohio’s AG, said one of the patients “literally rotted to death” under their care while another “was harmed because the nurses faked the patient’s medical records and forged signatures.” Yost said the first patient had open wounds on his body beginning in February 2017 which ultimately became “gangrenous and necrotic.” However, the nurses delayed taking him to a hospital, and when he finally went, it was far too late. The wounded patient died on March 5, 2017, at the hospital due to septic shock.
A nurse practitioner, a unit manager and an assistant nursing director now face involuntary manslaughter charges. Three nurses were also charged with forgery and patient neglect. The nurses face “involuntary manslaughter, gross patient neglect and patient neglect charges” for not medically handling the situation the way they should have and preventing the possibility of saving the man’s life.
Those indicted include:
“Sandra Blazer, 55, of Grove City, Ohio, assistant director of nursing, who faces one count each of involuntary manslaughter, gross patient neglect, patient neglect and tampering with evidence and four counts of forgery.
Jessica Caldwell, 30, of the Southeast Side, a floor nurse and unit manager, who faces one count each of involuntary manslaughter, gross patient neglect and patient neglect.
Akosua Ayarkwa, 29, of the Northeast Side a floor nurse, who faces three counts of forgery and one count of gross patient neglect.
Sheila Dains, 53, of Logan, Ohio, a floor nurse, who faces eight counts of forgery and one count of gross patient neglect.
Illuminee Muhongere, 48, of the Northeast Side, a floor nurse, who faces two counts of forgery.
Maegan Van Syckle, 39, of Westerville, Ohio, a floor nurse, who faces four counts of forgery and one count of gross patient neglect.
Kimberly Potter, 53, of Delaware, Ohio, a nurse practitioner contracted to work at the facility, who faces one count each of involuntary manslaughter, gross patient neglect and patient neglect.”
Facility spokesperson Ryan Stubenrauch denies that the employees were responsible for the patient’s septic shock and subsequent death. He said officials have been working with law enforcement for the past two years.
“We’re confident that this man’s tragic death was not the result of neglect at our facility,” Stubenrauch said, adding that four of the center’s employees were terminated immediately for falsifying the other patient’s records. Part of this misconduct included listing treatments on a female patient’s records when she was not physically at the center.
“They said they provided it and they did not,” Yost said. “Every one of us has a loved one or has had a loved one who’s been in a (nursing home) facility. We trust the doctors and the nurses and the staff at these facilities to care for those we love the most at their most vulnerable time in life. When they turn a callous eye and ignore what’s right in front of their faces and fail to provide the services and fail to provide for our loved ones, these are crimes of the worst sort.”