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Health Department Investigating Neglect, Death At Waite Park Facility

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The Minnesota Department of Health is investigating after a patient at a facility in Waite Park died a day after suffering seizures and not receiving proper pain medication.

State health officials say the incident happened Aug. 31, 2016, at the Sterling Park Health Care Center in Waite Park. Authorities say neglect occurred when a patient was in pain and experienced multiple seizures. A resident at the facility failed to give the patient any medication and didn't report the patient's pain or change in condition to a doctor.

The patient had as many as seven seizures in an 11-hour time frame.

The patient died the next day.

Authorities say one morning, the patient had two seizures about 90 minutes apart. Each seizure lasted about 30 to 40 seconds. The patient was unresponsive, but breathing after each seizure. Staff told the alleged perpetrator to give the patient pain medication, but it wasn't done. The patient had more seizures, and the alleged perpetrator said there wasn't pain medication available.

The resident didn't contact the physician, give any pain medication or provide any comfort measures while the patient was having seizures, the report says. The resident then said they were not aware there were any orders to give the patient pain medication. The resident also didn't give any explanation to why the physician wasn't contacted or why an on-call registered nurse wasn't called because of the change in condition.

The case remains under investigation.

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