Suit Asks Whether Facility Treated Dead Man

     NORFOLK, Va. (CN) — The sister of an elderly resident of a Virginia assisted living center claims in court that facility personnel either lied on his chart or continued to treat and medicate her brother hours after he’d been declared dead.
     David Butts was admitted to the Golden Living Center in Portsmouth, Va. on April 1, 2011 with a diagnoses that included Diabetes myelitis, stroke, high blood pressure, and cerebral vascular disease.
     At the time, he also exhibited moderately impaired decision making and needed assistance with eating and other basic life functions.
     But in a complaint filed in Portsmouth City Circuit Court, Butts’ sister, Dorothy Jean Foster, claims the facility’s care of her brother was so lacking on June 24 and 25, 2015, that its personnel continued to treat him for various ills despite his having died hours earlier.
     Prior to June 2015, Butts had been transported on several occasions to a local hospital emergency room due to complications related to low blood sugar.
     The hospital nurse noted that Butts was to be monitored daily for his changing blood sugar levels and was to be administered several blood sugar stabilizing medications, each for high and low spikes in his blood sugar that were to be administered immediately for corresponding levels.
     His physician was to be notified if his blood sugar levels dropped below 60.
     In her lawsuit, Foster claims either this level of care and attention was not forthcoming or the facility’s personnel were woefully unqualified for their jobs.
     On the morning of June 25, 2015, a nursing assistant found Butts lying on his back in his room with his mouth open.
     He was unresponsive and had no pulse, and paramedics called to the scene declared him dead at 6:15 a.m.
     In doing so, they noted he likely died hours earlier because his body was in a full rigor mortis state, the complaint says.
     Despite this, Foster claims, facility records suggest he continued to receive care throughout the day.
     For instance, the complaint says, the records show nurses administered a dose to Levenir at 6 a.m. on June 25, 2015, and followed that with a dose of Metformin.
     At 7:30 a.m., Butts chart says, another nurse supposedly administered wound care to the dead man.
     Then, at 6:13 p.m., many hours after Butts had been pronounced dead, a third nurse noted on his chart that he had blood sugar level of 60, and that she gave him a dietary supplement.
     Foster seeks $4 million in damages.
     She is represented by Carlton Bennett of Bennett and Sharp PLLC in Virginia Beach, Va.
     Representatives of the Golden Living Center-Portsmouth could not be reached for comment.

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