Nurse Aid Convicted Of Endangering Patient At Rochester Nursing Home

ALBANY, NY (March 7, 2007) – Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that Debra Wilson, a Certified Nurse Aide, was convicted of jeopardizing the safety of an elderly nursing home resident by failing to follow specific instructions regarding the patient’s care.

Wilson, 39, of Atkinson St., Rochester was convicted of Endangering the Welfare of an Incompetent or Physically Disabled Person and Willful Violation of Health Laws after a two-day jury trail. Wilson, a former employee of Shore Winds Nursing Home, could receive up to one year in prison when she returns for sentencing on May 1 before Rochester City Court Judge Melchor E. Castro.

Evidence showed that on April 28, 2005, Wilson, while working at the Shore Winds Nursing Home, transferred a 92-year-old patient from a wheelchair to a bed without staff assistance. By doing so, she acted against the patient’s written care plan that specified transfers were to be done by two staff members. While Wilson was moving the patient, the patient sustained a skin tear and bruises on the arms and hand. Two hours later, a nurse at the facility found the patient in their room with a bloody towel wrapped around their arm.

All nursing home patients have an individual care plan to ensure their safety and health, which include staff directions on transferring frail patients who are susceptible to injury due to ailments such as advanced osteoporosis or poor skin integrity.

“Regulations that specify patient care techniques are in place for a reason, and our medical personnel are entrusted to follow these rules when handling patients,” said Attorney General Cuomo. “When those we trust with their care choose to not to follow the law, they will face serious consequences.”

Special Assistant Attorney General Timothy McFarland of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit’s Rochester Regional Office prosecuted the case.