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Nursing home patient

This is health care in America: Nursing home patient left to burn up and die by medical staff

Tuesday, October 08, 2013 by: J. D. Heyes
Tags: nursing home patient, medical staff, burned to death

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(NaturalNews) You wouldn't think such things could happen in America, but with today's heavily regulated medical industry, which has left hospitals and nursing facilities chronically short of help and undertrained, you can expect such incidents to climb.

According to CBSChicago, Michael Lewis, a patient rehabilitating at the Lake Shore Healthcare and Rehabilitation Centre, was coming close to the end of his stay recently when something tragic happened.

"He burned to death," says his sister, Lisa Couch. Literally. "He sustained burns from mid-thigh up to the eyebrows."

Clinic personnel inadequately trained and did the wrong things

The disturbing video footage shot by the rehab center's security cam is here. The footage, which is disturbing, "shows Lewis on the patio, a designated smoking area, when the lighter in his pocket suddenly catches his shirt on fire. Residents try, but fail, to put out the flames. Lewis then frantically pushes himself back inside to get help," CBSChicago reported.

As you can see in the video, there was no one outside to keep an eye on the patients there.

"The horror, to think my brother is on fire and no one is there?" Couch says.

As you watch the video, you can see frantic rehab center workers inside of the building. Eventually, staff members spray Lewis with a nearby fire extinguisher - which was exactly the wrong thing to do, according to state nursing home regulators - then he is pushed back outside, where his body continues to smolder and where he sat, motionless, covered in foam.

"Doesn't look like they were trying to take care of Michael," his sister says.

Dr. Stanley Zydlo, an emergency response expert, watched the video and says there were numerous additional problems.

"There didn't seem to be anybody in control as to who was to do what," Zydlo told CBSChicago. He added that Lewis - or anyone whose clothing is on fire - should have used a blanket to cover himself immediately, in order to choke off the oxygen feeding the flames. Afterward, someone should have made sure Lewis had an adequate airway to breath, as breathing in flames often can cause an airway to swell shut. No one was doing much of anything, however.

It took more than five minutes for a worker in blue scrubs to even bring Lewis some oxygen.

"We don't see anybody evaluating him or doing CPR for him," Zydlo said.

As noted on the security cam, no one was performing potentially life-saving CPR on Lewis. That didn't happen until EMS crews from the Chicago Fire Department arrived on the scene, but by then, critical moments had elapsed.

When they found him, Lewis was in cardiac arrest. It took a total of 10 minutes after the flames engulfed him until CPR was initiated. But it didn't do much good.

Rules, regulations will only make things worse

In an interview with CBSChicago, Zydlo says someone should have put damp sheets on Lewis.

"The burn process is progressive unless you cool it down," he said. "It will continue."

Not surprising, officials and healthcare workers at the rehab facility refused to discussed Lewis' death. Instead, they cited privacy laws in a statement explaining why no one could - or would be - commenting.

State regulators reportedly went on to cite the facility for failing to adequately train staff in emergency procedures.

"There was no one there to help him," said Couch, sadly, adding that she has filed a wrongful death suit against Lakeshore HealthCare and Rehabilitation Centre.

Because the incredible regulatory burdens placed on healthcare facilities - even before Obamacare's provisions require workers to comply with hundreds more - these kinds of things are happening. Anyone who believes such gross mistakes will only improve under a wave of new rules and mandates is fooling himself.





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