Atlanta, GA – A World War II Veteran gasped for air an begged for help as nurses at an Atlanta nursing home laughed and leisurely wandered in and out of the man’s room, recently released hidden camera footage showed.
The veteran, 89-year-old James Dempsey, died on Feb. 27, 2014, after he fell unconscious while calling for the nurses’ help.
His family filed a lawsuit against the Northeast Atlanta Health and Rehabilitation nursing home, which resulted in the release of the footage, WXIA reported.
The recording was made by the victim’s family.
The disturbing video told a different story than that given by former nursing supervisor Wanda Nuckles, who did not know the recording existed when she met with the family’s attorney, Mike Prieto, for deposition.
Nuckles told Prieto that after another nurse told her Dempsey was not breathing, she rushed to the man’s room and found a nurse and an aid performing CPR.
She claimed she “took over,” while the other nurse called 911, and that she personally continued to perform CPR until emergency personnel arrived.
Nuckles confirmed that lifesaving efforts should not be stopped in any situation, unless a doctor says otherwise.
Prieto then showed Nuckles the recording from Dempsey’s room.
In the video, Dempsey called for help six times and struggled to breathe while lying in his bed.
He initiated a call signal button to alert nurses he needed help at 4:34 am, but his call was not answered until 4:42 am.
When a nurse entered the room, she casually repositioned Dempsey, who continued to visibly gasp for air. She did not conduct an assessment or check Dempsey’s vital signs, and left the room within three minutes.
She also turned off the veteran’s call signal.
Nuckles entered Dempsey’s room at 6:23 am, but the video showed that no one was performing CPR on Dempsey when she arrived.
Minutes later, Nuckles and others in the room started giggling while they struggled to get Dempsey’s oxygen machine to operate properly.
Prieto pointed that contrary to Nuckles’s claims, the video did not show her performing the lifesaving procedures as she had testified.
“Sir, that was an honest mistake,” she said. “I was just basing everything on what I normally do.”
Although the nursing home staff found the veteran unresponsive at 5:29 am, they failed to call 911 for nearly an hour, WXIA reported.
The nursing facility was made aware of the video in November 2015, but continued to employ the nurses for 10 months. Nearly three years after Dempsey’s death, Nuckles and another nurse finally surrendered their nursing licenses, WXIA said.
Dempsey’s family reached a settlement with the nursing home, which is still in operation.
To see how Nurse Nuckles’s reacted when she learned about the hidden video, and to witness the injustice incurred by Mr. Dempsey, watch the video below.
WARNING: The video is extremely disturbing. Viewer discretion advised.