A hidden camera video shows nurses laughing as a decorated World War II veteran lay dying in his nursing room bed.
The video was obtained by the NBC affiliate in Atlanta, Georgia, after a legal fight. The television station fought in court until the nursing home dropped its appeal to the state’s highest court. Lawyers for the nursing home fought to prevent WXIA-TV/11Alive from getting the video, they reported.
The family of 89-year-old James Dempsey sued Northeast Atlanta Health and Rehabilitation after Mr. Demsey died.
The video shows the elderly veteran calling for help six different times before falling unconscious. The father and grandfather from Woodstock, Georgia, was grasping for air. The hard-to-watch event happened in February of 2014.
According to the report by the Georgia NBC affiliate, the staff at the nursing facility found him unconscious at 5:28 a.m. but the staff did not call for emergency assistance until 6:25 a.m.–nearly an hour later.
A video of the deposition of one of the nurses is embedded in the 11Alive story. The video shows her struggling to respond after she testified that she administered CPR to Mr. Dempsey continuously but the video (see 5:00 mark) shows that CPR was never given.
The nurse replied to the lawyer saying, “Sir, that was an honest mistake.” “I was just basing everything on what I normally do.”
The self-described “Queen of Resident’s Rights,” Wanda Nuckles testified that a nurse is not supposed to stop chest compression until they receive a directive from a doctor.
11Alive reported that when a nurse finally responds, she failed to check any of Mr. Dempsey’s vital signs. When a nurse had difficulty getting Mr. Dempsey’s oxygen tank operational, something struck the nurses as funny, they laughed.
There was laughter among the nurses and the supervisor admitted there was no “sense of emergency” when the medical staff was with Mr. Dempsey by his bed.
The NBC affiliate in Atlanta reported that it took Northeast Atlanta Health and Rehabilitation, which is owned by Sava Senior Care, 10 months to fire the nurses after they were provided the hidden video. Nuckles and one of the other nurses seen in the video surrendered their licenses in September. The nursing facility is still operating in Atlanta.