Nursing home administrator speaks out about deceased resident

Doctor Trevino pointed out that these are not normal circumstances, and with Regent Care under an official quarantine, the Health Department steps in to make the decision if a resident can leave.
Published: Jul. 10, 2020 at 10:37 PM CDT
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - We brought you the story of a woman who’s sister was a resident of Regent Care Nursing Home who says after three weeks of a persistent cough, her sister died of COVID-19.

To read part one of this story, click here.

In part two of our story, we start off with a question: “Why didn’t you run over there and take your sister out?” Which seems to be the most logical thing to do, you would think.

We reached out to the administrator of Regent Care to ask the question, “How can a person who has guardianship over their loved one check the person out?”

Darryll Price emphatically told us, ”Our nursing home patients are not prisoners. All it takes for a resident to be discharged is a doctor’s order saying they can go home.”

Bertha Reyes, sister of deceased nursing home resident Eva, says she too spoke with Price requesting Eva be transferred to another nursing home, but was led to believe her sister was fine.

It’s a decision Bertha now has to live with.

“But she got contaminated there at Regent, and if they would have listened, they wouldn’t have this outbreak they have now.”

Since the death of Eva Martinez, an additional four residents of Regent Care have also passed away.

This prompted us to further look into the process of how a resident can be discharged if their family does indeed want to take them out.

We reached out to Doctor Victor Trevino, who along with his role of Laredo health authority also serves as the medical director for another local nursing home.

What we learned from him is that under normal circumstances, a person with power of attorney over a loved one can indeed check them out of a nursing home with a physician’s order, as stated by Price.

However, Doctor Trevino pointed out that these are not normal circumstances, and with Regent Care under an official quarantine, the Health Department steps in to make those decisions for the safety of those inside the home.

“In this situation, the quarantine did not help her ability to go in and out as usual, that’s why communication is very vital in these situations. They can call on the phone and ask how’s my relative doing, and they can keep tabs, Facetime is also a possibility, they’re also other ways in these times of epidemic and quarantine and there’s other things that can be done, and regretfully, we have to adapt to these new things.”

After part one of Eva Martinez’s story aired Thursday night, we received a statement from Regent Care’s administrator which outlines their policy on how they dispense medical care to their residents.

The statement reads in part:

“The care we provide is based upon the established diagnoses from the physician or hospital that admits the resident, any new diagnoses that the resident’s physician identifies, and the physician’s orders we are given for treatment.

“When a Regent caregiver notices a change in condition, that information is shared with the physician and any changes in treatment are made as directed.”

Copyright 2020 KGNS. All rights reserved.

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