Evie Fordham | Politics and Health Care Reporter
A woman who has been comatose for at least a decade gave birth in a Phoenix nursing facility on Dec. 29, sparking a police investigation into possible sexual abuse.
Her caretakers had no idea the woman was pregnant “until she was pretty much giving birth,” a source familiar with the situation told CBS 5.
“From what Ive been told she was moaning. And they didnt know what was wrong with her,” the source told CBS 5.
The baby boy is healthy, but the mother remains in a vegetative state caused by a near-drowning incident years ago. The patient had around the clock care and many staff members at Hacienda HealthCare where she lives could have entered her room alone.
Hacienda HealthCare has already instituted a new policy so that male caretakers are never alone in a room with a female patient, the source told CBS 5.
The health care facility issued the following statement in light of the incident:
Hacienda Healthcare has been in business in the valley for over 50 years, and has an outstanding reputation providing high quality specialized care for our patients. As a Healthcare provider, we cannot comment on any patient due to Federal and State privacy laws. Additionally, we cannot comment on any ongoing investigations. We can say that our patients and clients health and safety is our #1 priority and that we always cooperate, when asked by any agency, in an open and transparent way.
A caretaker and patient at a nursing facility. Shutterstock image via user GagliardiImages
The woman was likely sexually assaulted in the spring or summer of 2018.
Other care facilities have also come under fire for failing to keep residents safe or clean. For example, Department of Veterans Affairs nursing homes caretakers are roughly five times more likely to leave catheters in patients for too long.
Apparently bullying has become a problem at senior care facilities as well, prompting facilities to have anti-bullying campaigns.
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