MINNEAPOLIS - There is the possibility of a lawsuit against a nurse and a Twin Cities health care facility involving the death of a patient. Ralph Dostal, 78, died in September, 2012 at the Benedictine Health Center on East 17th Street.
The Licensed Practical Nurse in the case was given a reprimand and fined $750 by the Minnesota Board of Nursing, according to documents. The Benedictine Health Center was found to be in compliance with federal and state regulations governing long term care facilities with regard to staffing and training, according to the Minnesota Department of Health.
"How could a person who is 'full code', asked to be resuscitated, go through the night vomiting, getting worse, no one assessing him, no one calling the doctor and then when his illness gets so bad that his heart stops, nobody does anything," Mark Koseiradski, attorney for the Dostal family asked. "The nurses do not do anything. The aides do not do anything and they did not follow his wish. They (the family) want to know what happened. They would like to know why it happened and they would like to make sure it does not happen ever again."
On the night of September 28, 2012, Dostal's first cousin and executor of his estate said he visited Dostal's room. "Ralph was my very best friend in the whole world," said Jeffry Bies of Minneapolis. "He was there for rehabilitation to help him have physical therapy for walking.
"Nobody ever came in his room any of the times that I was there...I actually went there quite late that particular night and I noticed that there was some emesis (vomit) in the emesis basin and he told me he was not feeling too good. I guess the last thing he said to me was 'Will you come and see me tomorrow?' and I said 'of course I will be here tomorrow' because I went everyday."
However, Dostal died during that night.
"Our office, just in the last year," said Koseiradzki, "we have seen half a dozen cases where elder people in nursing homes have not received CPR as requested and this is just wrong. They (the state authorities) found neglect on the nurse for failing to assess, failing to call a doctor and, of course, failing to do CPR. We would like to know why?"
The Benedicting Health Center terminated the LPN in the case. However, the Nursing Board website indicates the nurse still has his license to practice in Minnesota. It is not known if he is working in the state or where. Attempts to contact him on Monday were not successful. The Benedictine facility has, so far, declined comment on the case.
As for the reprimand and fine imposed on the nurse, Koseiradzki was direct. "A $750 fine is a slap on the hand."
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