The LPN is facing a felony charge of practicing medicine without a license court documents show.
CLARKSVILLE, Ind. — A nurse is facing charges after an investigation into oxygen being removed from a Clarksville nursing home resident who died hours later.
In a report by the Indiana Department of Health and Human Services, officials said a resident at Wedgewood Healthcare Center tested positive for COVID-19 around April 24, 2020.
According to the nurse’s notes, the resident’s O2 levels dropped as low as 65%. The nurse started high flow oxygen, but “eventually discontinued it, after which the resident passed away 7 hours and 45 minutes later.”
The report said the nurse, identified as Connie Sneed in court documents, did not notify the physician of the patient’s declining condition or the discontinuation of high flow oxygen. In an interview, the nurse said she “forgot to contact” the physician.
The physician was only notified, by another nurse, that the resident had passed away the next morning.
“[I was] taking care of over 40 COVID patients, and the week that I had had was terrible, and that is one thing I forgot to do was call the doctor,” the nurse said.
An advanced practice registered nurse who practiced at the center said she wanted to send the resident to the hospital, and the resident said he wanted to go to the hospital, on April 28, but the nurse said she had discussed it with his family and they did not want him to be sent out.
The court documents said a Facebook post made by the nurse (Connie Sneed) said she asked the resident, who the report says suffers from dementia, if he wanted her to take it off and “let you go fly with the angels” and “he said yes.”
“I took it all off of him I went in the hallway and I cried and I let him go and he passed away 1 hour and 45 minutes after I left,” the nurse posted.
Sneed had been an employee at the center for 15 years when the incident happened, documents state.
In an interview, the nurse said she told the resident’s daughter, who has power of attorney, the oxygen was “prolonging the inevitable,” and the daughter told her if it was his wish, she could remove the mask.
The resident’s daughter told investigators she received a call from the nurse saying he was not doing well, and that if they sent him to the hospital he would get the same treatment the facility’s already doing, so the family said to keep him there.
The nurse then called to say the resident was not keeping the mask on. The daughter said she told the nurse to let him calm down and then put the mask back on him, and the nurse told her she would try, but could not force him to keep it on. The next morning, she received a call saying her father had died.
The report said the nurse has been fired and reported to the Indiana Board of Nursing. Additionally, the report said Wedgewood would be taking steps to prevent an event like that from happening again, including increased rounds to identify any changes in condition, daily reviews of all nursing notes and increased education on the care plan process.
Clarksville police confirmed they opened an investigation into the situation May 4, 2020, after being called by the Executive Director at Wedgewood. Clarksville police said they also contacted the Indiana Attorney General’s Office on May 6 to begin the process to transfer the investigation there.
Sneed is facing a felony charge of Practicing Medicine without a License def practices medicine or osteopathic medicine, according to court documents.