Massachusetts attorneys, Bernard J. Hamill, Quincy




We filed an action on behalf of Monserrate D.'s family against Kindred Hospital, Waltham, MA. for her negligent Death. Monserrate entered Kindred Waltham for weaning off a ventilator, a common process that Kindred Hospital advertises as a particluar specialty. Despite being classified as a high risk for decannulation she was left unattended and died by asphyxiation in May of 2009. Her case is scheduled for trial in September, 2010.

The Massachusetts State Department of Public Health conducted an official investiagtion into Monserrate's Death. As a result, a citation was entered against Kindred.

DPH Findings:

1. The Patient was identified as being at risk for decannulation.

2. The Patient had attempted decannulation and/or attempted to disconnect the circuit to the ventilator multiple times.

3. There was inconsistent documentation for the application, release and reapplication of the Patient's restraints.

4. The licensed practical nurse did not ensure that the Patient had been safely restrained at the time a visitor left the unit. The licensed practical nurse did not properly observe for the application of restraints and instead visually inspected for the application of the mitts from the doorway.

5. On 05/09/09 at 4:10 P.M., the Patient decannulated and became unresponsive and pulseless. The Patient never regained a pulse and transferred with advanced life support to an acute care hospital where she was pronounced dead.

6. DPH Complaint VALIDITY: Valid

Monserrate had a difficult life and a more tragic, unnecessary death. She died solely and directly because of the lack of supervision by Kindred who had the sole duty to protect her from Decannulation danger.

The most vulnerable and the weak in our society such as the elderly are most in need of our care and protection. Her life had value to her family. She must have suffered a lonely and terrifying death, gasping for air while her call bell didn’t work. She may have watched in helpless panic as staff walked right by her open door while all life left her body.

Monserrat's Trial will take place in September 2010.

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