*This is the kind of crap that just makes your blood boil. James Dempsey — an 89-year-old vet who had served in a cold war — wasn’t a fan of nursing homes. In fact, as he was preparing to go into one he was a bit anxious, so his family decided to hide a camera in his room; not knowing that it would ultimately record the suffering he would endure as he lay dying.
“Help me. Help me,” the hidden camera shows Dempsey calling out as he gasped for air saying, “I can’t breathe.” But this wasn’t all. That same camera shows a severe lapse in time before a nurse comes in to support the “code red” call. But the nurse simply re positions the man, inspects some tubes around his neck, turns off his call light and leaves the room. She does no CPR or anything to alleviate the man’s suffering.
It would be hours before 911 is notified.
Although Dempsey’s death was on Feb. 27, 2014, portions of the hidden video were aired this week on NBC 11 Alive along with a video of the deposition of Wanda Nuckles, the nursing supervisor that was on duty that night, which is what brings the horrific incident to us now.
In the deposition, which occurred more than a year later, Nuckles proves to be an embarrassment to the profession. She is being questioned as she watches the hidden video that captured the irresponsible behavior she and her staff nurse demonstrated.
“Would you agree it appears as though he’s gasping for air?” the questioner asks Nuckles.
“It looks like it,” she said quietly as she watched.
“Is that an emergency situation, ma’am?”
“How’s it make you feel to watch this ma’am?”
Nuckles is reported to have changed her story after being shown the video. Her initial recollection was that she had started CPR as soon as she reached the room; and that she didn’t stop until the EMT’s arrived.
Needless to say, there was no record on this on tape.
“Contrary to the way you testified previously, there’s no one doing CPR, is there?” the questioner asked Nuckles after playing the clip.
“No,” Nuckles said.
When questioned about the discrepancy Nuckles says her answer was “an honest mistake.” She says she spoke on what she “usually does.”
Dempsey’s family sued the facility but then settled and wouldn’t comment to NBC about the video, which the station obtained after its own legal fight with Northeast Atlanta Health and Rehabilitation. The nursing home tried to have the video sealed by a court, the station reported, and only released it on a judge’s order.
A spokesman for Sava Senior Care, which owns the facility, told the station it was “saddened by the events, which occurred more than three years ago” and had since worked to improve its service. A worker who answered at the facility said staff members weren’t allowed to talk about the events.
No word on what happened to the nurses. We can assume they were fired, but was any other actions taken?
Watch the disturbing 8:40 minute video from 11Alive below. You will, no doubt, still shake your head. This time based on what you actually hear and see.