Nurse 'too busy' to help nursing home patient hastened death, suit alleges

David Yates Oct. 5, 2010, 7:55am

Patsy Bushnell is suing the Senior Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Center, claiming a nurse "was too busy" to help her suffocating mother, who died more than two years ago.

On behalf of the late Pearl Green, Bushnell filed her suit Sept. 29 in Jefferson County District Court.

According to the suit, on June 20, 2008, Green was admitted to the nursing center with respiratory failure and pneumonia. A tracheostomy tube was in place to help her breathe.

Apparently, a nurse noticed she was having trouble breathing and that her trach tube needed to be suctioned. The nurse notified Resident Nurse Sherry Cole who allegedly told her she "was too busy," court papers say.

"Green became unresponsive a short time later and was rushed to Southeast Texas Medical Center where she arrived in full cardiopulmonary arrest," the suit states.
"Although Green was resuscitated, she had developed ... brain damage due to lack of oxygen. As a result, the decision was made to withdraw life support and on July 27, 2008, Green died."

Bushnell is suing for wrongful death damages and her mental anguish.

She is represented by Houston attorney Craig Lewis.

Judge Bob Wortham, 58th District Court, has been assigned to the case.

Case No. A188-464

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