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Nursing Home Resident Dies after Spending 8 Hours in Freezing Temperatures

According to a report by the Associated Press, an investigation into the death of a 76 year old woman at an Ohio nursing home revealed she spent roughly 8 hours outside while temperatures fell below zero.  Phyllis Campbell was found dead from hypothermia on January 7 outside Hilty Memorial Home in Pandora, OH.  She reportedly suffered from dementia and had a history of wandering off.  “She had a history of exit seeking behaviors” and “the facility failed to ensure adequate supervision was provided,” according to a report released by the Ohio Department of Health.

That report from the Ohio Department of Health says two nursing home aides told investigators they didn’t do scheduled checks that night even though they were marked as completed.  She left the building around 12:35 am and Putnam County Coroner Dr. Anne Horstman determined that she died between 1 and 2 am.  She was able to exit through a door into a courtyard even though she was wearing a monitor that should have set off alarms but “at times would not sound.”  She was found in the courtyard about 30 feet from its doors in the morning.  The Investigations findings note that Campbell had wandered into the courtyard 2 other times during the week before she died and that she got out of her room several times that day.