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St. Paul nursing home cited second time in a year in resident death

ST. PAUL — For the second time in a year, the state has faulted the same St. Paul nursing home for failing to respond in a timely manner to the ventilator alarm of a resident who died.

According to a report made public this week, the Minnesota Department of Health investigated an allegation relating to an Aug. 19 incident at Bethel Care Center in which “a resident was neglected after facility staff found the resident unresponsive and alarms were sounding on the ventilator.”

The department determined that the claim was true — staff did not intervene for at least 39 minutes after the alarm sounded.

The nurse on the resident’s wing told inspectors that the facility had decreased staffing levels within a week or so of the resident’s death.

According to the report, following the death, the facility added an additional staff person to continuously monitor ventilator alarms, as well as adjusting its staffing plan “to address resident census on each unit.”

Early last year, the Bethel Care Center was also implicated in another death that occurred in July 2017, when a resident’s ventilator tube became detached and sounded an alarm during a worship service at the facility, and there weren’t any nursing staff around to help.