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Malnourished and covered in waste: Health provider blamed for patient's death

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A home health care provider is being blamed for the death of a patient who was malnourished and suffering from multiple ailments when he was admitted to a hospital.

An investigation by the Minnesota Department of Health has concluded that a nurse working for Interim HealthCare of Roseville neglected the 66-year-old patient, according to the Pioneer Press.

The newspaper says the patient weighed just 80 pounds, had no appetite, was covered in feces and urine, and was suffering from a large bed sore and a blood infection when he was admitted to the hospital.

The patient was referred to the healthcare provider in 2012 suffering from Parkinson's Disease and had been diagnosed as having a "failure to thrive," according to WCCO.

A nurse visited once a week to help him, but failed to carry out weight monitoring during that time, and a doctor expressed concern about his lack of nutrition following a visit in 2013.

The nurse said, according to WCCO, that they never weighed the patient because he did not have a scale.

"Although a registered nurse visited the patient on a weekly basis, the nurse failed to adequately assess, identify and intervene for the patient’s declining condition," the Health Department said it concluded, the Star Tribune reports. "The agency who employed the nurse failed to provide supervision and oversight."

Tom Geary, one of the owners of the for-profit healthcare firm, told the Pioneer Press: "We take this very seriously and we regret that this happened ... but we see thousands of patients a year."

"We've taken corrective action," he added, though wouldn't say whether the nurse remains on the staff.

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