Two more employees of the Medford Multicare Center for Living nursing home were arrested last week as part of an ongoing criminal negligence case involving the death of a resident in October 2012.
Marianne Fassino, 53, of Shirley, and Leona Gordon, 35, of Medford, were arrested in connection with the death of a 72-year-old female resident in what was supposed to be temporary rehabilitation, according to the release, Patchogue Patch, reported. A few days earlier, reports surfaced that nine people were arrested in connection with the woman’s death, with one of the defendants being charged with criminally negligent homicide.
Kethlie Joseph, 61 of Brentwood was charged with criminally negligent homicide for the death of Aurelia Rios. According to prosecutors, Joseph is accused of not reading doctors’ orders to keep Rios on a ventilator overnight and her failure to do so resulted in the patient’s death. She is also being charged with not responding to visual and audio alarms alerting staff of the patient in distress, WABC New York reported.
Rios had been placed in the Medford Multicare Center for rehab after a hospital stay for a breathing disorder. Doctors orders stated that Rios be hooked up to a ventilator but prosecutors allege Joseph, a licensed practical nurse, failed to read the orders. Over two hours, Rios suffocated as warning alarms blared and no one attempted to help, WABC New York reported.
Fassino was arrested because she failed to respond to the visual and audio alarms for almost two hours despite being inches away from monitors, according to a release from the office of Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman. Gordon, who also faces charges, was responsible for watching the unit’s alarm monitor in the nursing station and making sure that any alarms were answered in a prompt manner, Patchogue Patch reported.
The list of charges paint a disturbing picture of corruption and negligence. Administrator David Fielding conspired with other nursing home staff to cover up the incident and failed to report the death to authorities, processors allege. Rios’ daughter was lied to, as staff informed her that her mother died of a heart attack.
Also arrested was 31-year-old Kimberly Lappe, who is also accused of not responding to visual and audio distress alarms despite being just inches from the monitors that were going off, WABC New York reported. Lappe is also being charged with the falsification of records stating that nurses responded to those alarms.
Christina Corelli, 37, was charged with not responding to the alarms, and is accused of lying to authorities by saying the alarms were not beeping and that the patient was breathing normally. Patricial Giovanni, 62, was assigned to sit at the bedside of the patient and is also charged with not responding to the alarms.
Fielding and fellow administrator Christine Boylan were arrested on charges of hiding records documenting the alarm system going off. A whistle blower is being credited with informing police of the incident, WABC New York said.