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Westview has unusual emergencies

Staff writer

Westview Manor in Peabody has been at the center of two unusual emergency calls in the past week — one in which nursing staff appeared to disregard instructions from dispatchers, and another in which staff did not respond to a call from dispatch after a fire alarm was reported.

On June 26, personnel at Westview Manor called dispatchers to report that a patient was having difficulty breathing.

“They’re advising he’s turning blue, but she still has a heartbeat as well as breathing,” a dispatcher told ambulance attendants. “I’ve advised them to lay him flat on the floor. They’re not cooperating.”

An ambulance attendant asked whether nursing home staff had obtained an accurate set of vitals.

“That’s negative,” the dispatcher answered. “I just have nursing staff yelling back and forth at each other.”

The dispatcher told ambulance attendants that no one was available to open the door for them and gave instructions how to get inside the building despite that.

“They’re advising that he’s still unresponsive,” the dispatcher said. “They are refusing to lay him on the floor per my instructions to prepare for CPR as he’s still breathing.”

Attendants were told the nurses might be preoccupied with the patient in the nurse’s station.

When ambulance attendants reached the patient, they determined he was in potentially life-threatening condition and headed for NMC Health, formerly Newton Medical Center, with him before they were diverted to Ascension Via Christi St. Francis Hospital, Wichita.

Ambulance director Chuck Kenney said he couldn’t speak to what was happening inside Westview.

“I don’t know if I can get that,” Kenney said. “I’m not sure I can call and even get the truth.”

Monica Morales owns Access Mental Health. A longtime psychiatric nurse practitioner, she purchased Westview Manor from the state four years ago with plans to make drastic improvements after it had been seized by the state for poor conditions.

She said dispatchers didn’t understand what was going on inside Westview.

“There’s absolutely nothing to be concerned about,” Morales said. “The nurse is competent and she was not getting the support from the dispatchers. Sometimes the operators don’t know what’s going on.

“She had to suction the patient. They didn’t know that.”

The yelling back and forth between staff members was a nurse telling aides what equipment she needed and where to find it, Morales said.

Twice on Monday, a fire alarm at Westview went off, and no one answered phone calls when dispatchers called to check on the situation.

Peabody firefighters were sent to the scene but found no fire.

Morales offered no explanation why staff didn’t answer dispatcher’s calls, but said an alarm company had reported the alarm to dispatchers.

Something needs to be repaired or the alarm needs to be replaced, Morales said. Westview’s maintenance department is looking into the situation, she said.

Last modified July 3, 2024

 

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