Nurse Charged With Patient Neglect At Schenectady Nursing Home

Attorney General Spitzer today announced the arrest of a registered nurse at the Kingsway Arms Nursing Center in Schenectady for unlawfully withholding treatment from a terminally ill 82-year-old patient on four consecutive days last July, and then falsifying the patient's medical chart to cover up her neglect.

Janice Armer, 45, of 1731 Patton Drive in Schenectady, was arraigned today before Schenectady City Court Judge Karen A. Drago on a three-count Information. Armer is charged with the crimes of Wilful Violation of the Public Health Law, Endangering the Welfare of an Incompetent or Physically Disabled Person, and Falsifying Business Records in the Second Degree. If convicted, she faces up to one year in prison.

According to prosecutors, the Kingsway Arms patient suffered from a number of physical and psychological conditions, including dementia, peripheral vascular disease and gangrene of the left foot. Between July 17 and 20, Armer was responsible for the daily cleansing of the gangrenous wounds on the patient's foot and covering the foot with a clean dry sterile dressing. On July 20th, nursing staff discovered that the patient's dressing had not been changed since July 16th, and that the foot had become infected. To conceal her crime, Armer falsely wrote in the patient's medical chart that she had provided the treatment.

"The pain that this elderly woman needlessly suffered because of the neglect of a health care professional was inexcusable. The defendant's attempt to then conceal her wrongdoing only compounds her crime," said Spitzer. "It is obvious, based on her actions, that the defendant should never work again with patients in a health care setting."

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

Armer has been a registered nurse since 1981, and worked at the Kingsway Arms Nursing Center, Inc., located at 323 Kings Road in Schenectady, from May 2000 until her termination shortly after the incident. The Attorney General's Office has referred the matter to the State Education Department's Office of the Professions for a review of Armer's nursing license.

Special Assistant Attorney General John P. Miller, of the Albany 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 Armer are accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.