Personal Injury & Nursing Home Abuse
Pittsburgh and Western PA

Former Nurse Linked to 17 Nursing Home Deaths

The mistreatment of nursing residents, including nursing home abuse and neglect, represents a grave violation of trust and dignity, with potentially devastating consequences.

Nursing home facilities and its staff members are entrusted with the care of our loved ones who require specialized attention and support. But in disturbing news, a former Pennsylvania nurse has been linked to 17 resident deaths and the attempted killing of 19 others.

Hal Waldman & Associates is representing the family of one of the victims.

Residents harmed in several locations

According to ABC 7 Chicago, Heather Pressdee, 41, was initially accused of killing two nursing home residents with excessive doses of insulin. At the end of last year, Pressdee admitted to attempting to kill 19 more residents throughout various facilities. In her care, a total of 17 patients died. She is now being charged with two counts of first-degree murder, 17 counts of attempted murder, and 19 counts of neglect of a care-dependent person.

"The allegations against Ms. Pressdee are disturbing. It is hard to comprehend how a nurse, trusted to care for her patients, could choose to deliberately and systematically harm them," said Pennsylvania Attorney General Michelle Henry.

Officials said the alleged crimes happened while Pressdee was employed as a registered nurse at Concordia at Rebecca Residence, Belair Healthcare and Rehabilitation (Guardian), Quality Life Services Chicora, Premier Armstrong Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, and Sunnyview Rehabilitation and Nursing Center.

According to officials, Pressdee administered the insulin during overnight shifts when staffing was low. The age of the victims ranged from 43 to 104.

Nursing home residents are vulnerable to mistreatment

This case highlights the need for better care in nursing homes. While accidents happen, intentional harm is also unfortunately a reality. But even without the intent to harm, residents are vulnerable to medication errors. These errors are often a result of neglect due to:

  • Understaffing and inadequate supervision: A shortage of staff can lead to rushed medication administration and oversight, increasing the likelihood of errors. Lack of supervision can also result in mistakes going unnoticed.
  • Inexperienced staff: Employees with limited experience are more susceptible to errors, particularly when dealing with complex medication procedures.
  • Labeling errors: Incorrect labeling of medications can lead to the administration of the wrong drug to residents.
  • Similar drug names: Lengthy and similar-sounding medication names can cause confusion among staff, resulting in administration mistakes.
  • Failure to report prior medication errors: Staff may hesitate to report errors due to fear of consequences, allowing mistakes to go unaddressed and recurring.

Both medication errors and deliberate actions by staff members to harm residents through medication misuse can be fatal. Such actions not only compromise the health and well-being of vulnerable individuals but also breach the trust and duty of care owed by caregivers in nursing home facilities.

A Pittsburgh nursing home abuse lawyer can fight for your loved one

Our firm is committed to advocating for the rights of nursing home residents. They should be treated with care, support, and respect, but that is not always the case. That's why we work hard to hold negligent caregivers accountable for their actions. Attorney Hal K. Waldman knows what it takes to seek justice for victims and their families.

If you or a loved one has been harmed due to nursing home abuse or neglect in Western Pennsylvania, we are here to provide compassionate support and legal guidance. The stakes are high. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn how we can help protect your rights and pursue the compensation you deserve.

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