Rehabilitation Hospital in Maryland Comes Under Fire After Patient Dies From Malnutrition

The Adventist Rehabilitation Hospital of Maryland could lose its Medicare funding. Investigations by the state have found that some of the hospital’s patients have not been getting the proper diets ordered by their physicians, and this oversight may have caused their health problems to worsen. One of the hospitals patients, 29-year-old Julian Frazier, died in December from malnutrition.

The Adventist HealthCare system has 77-beds at its facilities in Takoma Park and Rockville. It also has outpatient centers. At Adventist, patients are treated while they recover from spinal cord injuries, strokes, traumatic brain injuries, war injuries, and other conditions.

Adventist called Frazier’s death an isolated incident. Frazier, a high school math teacher, was being treated for organ damage after suffering from pancreatitis. He lost his ability to walk and almost died.

Last November, he was admitted to Adventist after a gastroenterologist decided that he needed more care. He was 75 pounds underweight at the time of his admission and doctors had said that he needed to eat as much as possible or undergo intravenous feeding and other “interventions” otherwise.

According to state inspectors, he does not appear to have been given the prescribed diet at Adventist. He also was supposed to be weighed every week but there are no records to indicate this occurred. Frazier had diarrhea and was vomiting.

A gastroenterologist that examined Frazier on December 5 said that his body was swollen and he had severe malnutrition. His blood pressure started to go down and he started having difficulties with his vision. Frazier died of cardiac arrest.

According to the state report, Frazier was at a “severe and unrelenting risk of starvation” and Adventist did not intervene.

Other patients that reportedly were suffering from malnutrition at Adventist:

• A patient treated with dialysis lost 22 pounds in one week even though Adventist was supposed to be monitoring any weight loss. Investigators say the patient got a more restrictive diet than what the doctor prescribed.

• A diabetic was fed a meal that was high in carbohydrates even though the doctor had ordered that the patient be fed a balanced diet. Too many carbohydrates can raise a diabetic’s blood sugar.

If you are patient at a hospital, rehabilitation facility, nursing home, elder care facility, or any other care facility where you are receiving medical or rehabilitative care, the doctors, nurses, and care providers are legally obligated to provide you with the care that you have been prescribed. They are not allowed to neglect your care and feeding or deny you the medical care that you need. Failure to do so can be grounds for a medical malpractice claim or a wrongful death lawsuit.

In Maryland and Washington D.C., the personal injury law firm of Lebowitz and Mzhen handles every kind of personal injury case, including cases involving medical malpractice, nursing home abuse, and nursing home neglect.

To schedule your free consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys, contact Lebowitz and Mzhen today.

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