Nurse Charged With Patient Neglect And Cover-up At Ontario County Nursing Home

Attorney General Spitzer today announced that Sandra Derby, a licensed practical nurse at the Ontario County Nursing Home in Canandaigua, has been charged with unlawfully withholding medication and treatment from three elderly female patients at the facility, and then falsifying their charts to cover up her neglect.

Appearing for arraignment last night in Hopewell Town Court before Judge Margaret Hilton, Derby was charged with four counts of Wilful Violation of Health Laws and four counts of Falsifying Business Records in the Second Degree. If convicted, she faces up to one year in prison.

Spitzer said, "Derby was entrusted with the care of our most vulnerable citizens, and she showed little concern for their well-being. In one instance, she failed to administer critical blood sugar tests to a 103-year-old diabetic patient. It is obvious, based on her actions, that she should never work again with patients in a health care setting."

According to prosecutors, Derby neglected an 88-year-old female patient suffering from, among other maladies, congestive pulmonary disease, hypertension, and dementia by failing to provide the patient with a prescribed medicated spray treatment. The following month, Derby failed to administer blood glucose tests to two elderly patients who suffer, respectively, from diabetes and hyperglycemia. To conceal her crimes, Derby falsely indicated in the patients' charts that she had provided the treatment and tests.

Spitzer thanked the State Health Department for referring the matter to his office. He also thanked the administration and staff of the nursing home for their cooperation and assistance in the investigation.

Derby, 27, lives at 3901 Allens Hill Road in Bloomfield. She has been a licensed practical nurse for approximately eight years, and worked at the Ontario County Nursing Home, located at 3062 County Complex Drive in Canandaigua, from 1998 to October 2000.

Special Assistant Attorney General Timothy McFarland, of the Rochester Regional Office of the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, is prosecuting the case. All cases are handled under the direct supervision of Deputy Attorney General Jos? Maldonado.

The charges against Derby are accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.