Nursing Homes Kill Thousands Report Says

From an October 15, 2002 Associated Press release comes a chilling story of how Nursing Homes kill thousands of senior citizens each year. The story, also picked up by many other news organizations including ABC News, noted that government documents and court records were the source of the information. The story originally came from a series of investigative reports appearing in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

According to the story, investigators and researchers say that most of the deaths were caused by neglect traced to caregivers whom the elderly rely on for food and liquid, and for turning them in their beds to prevent life-threatening sores. In the latest national compilation, of the more than 500,000 deaths in nursing homes in 1999, a total of 4,138 death certificates lists the causes of death as starvation, dehydration or bedsores.

The US Department of Health and Human Services reported to Congress this year that nine of 10 nursing homes have inadequate staff. It is an inadequate number of nurses and aides that the story site as the reason for most of the nursing home caused deaths.