Nursing Home Resident Dies in Heat Wave—Home Investigated for Negligence

Last year’s east coast heat wave in July led to the closing of Baltimore, Maryland’s Ravenwood Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center, as our Baltimore nursing home lawyer blog discussed, moving 150 residents out of the facility, as well as 70 residents from Liberty Health and Rehabilitation Center, after the air condition systems in both homes experienced malfunctions, failing to keep residents safe and cool in the dangerous heat.

Maryland officially issued a “Code Red – Heat Alert” cautioning all licensed health care and residential facilities in the state to implement the necessary precautions to make sure to protect the health and safety of all residents inside, while the outside temperatures were hovering at around 100°F.

Earlier this month, Milwaukee, Wisconsin health officials also warned residents to use caution in the current heat wave, as a nursing home resident was left in the scorching heat by caretakers for over three hours, which could have caused his wrongful death.

Martin Belkin, a 69-year-old resident who lived at Sunrise Care Center, reportedly asked to be taken outside to enjoy the warm summer weather. Belkin was left sitting from 2:45 p.m. until 6 p.m. and was unsupervised, according to the Medical Examiner’s office.

Belkin reportedly had a history of medical problems, but his temperature just before 8 p.m. was at 101.4 degrees, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The Milwaukee Health Commissioner Bevan Baker reportedly held a press conference warning that elderly people and children are among the most at-risk for health issues or death from high temperatures. Baker stated that these children and elderly people should take great caution in the 97-degree heat, especially those who have heart and respiratory problems, and those who take medications that make it hard for their bodies to sweat.

The medical examiner’s office is conducting an autopsy to determined whether Belkin’s death was heat related, and due to nursing home negligence.

If you are worried about the health, treatment and safety of a friend or loved one staying at a nursing home in Maryland or the Washington D.C. area, contact our nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at Lebowitz and Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers for a free consultation.

Nursing home death investigated, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, June 8, 2011

Related Web Resources:

Maryland Office of Health Care Quality

Related Blog Posts:

Maryland OHCQ Issues Code Red Heat Alert for Nursing Homes, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, July 14, 2010
Maryland Residents Moved Out of Nursing Home After A/C Malfunctions, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, July 12, 2010

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