Multiple agencies investigating Pinellas nursing home death

PINELLAS PARK, Fla. (WFLA) – Questions remained Monday after a patient at Gracewood Nursing Home on US 19 in Pinellas Park sat outside in the sun for several hours, later dying.

Pinellas Park police told News Channel 8 65-year-old Wilbert Moten was left outside for at least two hours Saturday. He was later rushed to the hospital in cardiac arrest with second-degree burns. Moten died at the hospital.

Police are interviewing people from multiple shifts, since Moten’s time outside could’ve overlapped two shifts.

“If the clinicians were doing their job, it shouldn’t have gotten to that point. If they were watching him, they would’ve seen that he was in distress,” Fernando Gutierrez said. Gutierrez told News Channel 8 he was Moten’s patient advocate.

“He had a medical incapacity. He could not therefore make medical decisions for himself. He couldn’t tell you what medications he was on. He could tell you if he was hungry, what he wanted and things of that sort. He was unable to walk; he was diagnosed with severe falls,” Gutierrez explained.

Gutierrez is anxious to see the medical examiner’s report on Moten’s death, which might not be released for several weeks. He is upset with the nursing home, and told News Channel 8 staff didn’t call him when Moten was taken to the hospital.

“The nurses there claimed that they called me, but I searched my cell phone and there’s no record. Now I’m suspicious as to the credibility of those workers there at the facility, so as any patient advocate would do I have to move them because I’ve lost the trust,” Gutierrez said.

Meanwhile, the Agency for Health Care administration explained that Gracewood Nursing home is on the state watch list after failing to fix issues found during an inspection. Gracewood has been cited and fined several times for previous violations. Read more about these violations here.

The Department of Children and Families is also investigating.

Staff at Gracewood told News Channel 8 Monday they had no comment. Calls to the nursing home’s parent company, Senior Care Group, LLC, did not return our calls.

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