Witnesses provide different accounts in Rosewood Care Center trial

Ann Knef Oct. 16, 2007, 1:33am

Witnesses contradicted one another Monday in the third day of a wrongful death trial against Rosewood Care Center of Edwardsville.

Jurors heard registered nurse Linda Delamano say she did not see or hear a call light activated from resident Margaret Schwab's room on Dec. 21, 2003. Margaret Schwab, who had been restricted to bed rest, had fallen on the floor of her room and was discovered by a laundry lady, according to testimony.

A lawsuit was filed in 2004 by Thomas Schwab who alleges his wife's head and neck injuries due to the fall led to her death.

A certified nurse assistant testified in the morning that she refused to "log roll" Mrs. Schwab who was lying face down on her right side because she didn't know if she had a broken neck or back.

The nurse assistant testified that Delamano rolled Mrs. Schwab by herself. "She shouldn't have done it," the assistant testified.

On cross examination the nurse assistant admitted that she heard a call light's buzzing sound but did nothing about it because she had been told to stay at the nurses' desk.

Rosewood attorney Stephen Strum asked her, "Did you feel you did anything wrong?"

The assistant answered, "I should have checked."

Delamano testified that she was "confident" she did not hear or see a call light from Mrs. Schwab's room. She said she "would have run" to the room if she knew a resident had fallen. "Any human would run," she said.

She said she likes Alzheimer's patients.

"I have patience and a knack for it," she said. "I like to be with them at the end of their life. Who's going to do that?"

She also said she "definitely" had a CNA (certified nurse assistant) help her log roll Mrs. Schwab.

"It's impossible to log roll (by yourself)," she said.

She testified that falls among the elderly population are not uncommon, whether they occur in a home setting or in a nursing home.

Delamano, who no longer works for Rosewood, said the nursing home encourages independence so that Medicare patients can get well enough to go home.

"They don't want to take their dignity away," she said. "They make sure they get up and exercise...and do the things they need to do to get better."

On redirect plaintiff attorney Craig Jensen asked Delamano rhetorically, "What about Mrs. Schwab's dignity when she was lying on the floor?"

A physician's video deposition was to be presented to jurors later Monday afternoon in Circuit Judge Nicholas Byron's courtroom.

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