March 3, 2021

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Camera catches COVID-19 patient’s closing breaths in San Antonio nursing household

SAN ANTONIO – Just after Rafael Armendariz developed a sore on his foot early final 12 months, his spouse and children reported administration at Golden Estates Rehabilitation & Health care Middle authorized them to set up a Ring protection digital camera in his area to check his treatment and get updates on his affliction from staff.

The timing of setting up the digicam proved prescient, as weeks afterwards, the COVID-19 virus pressured nursing properties to no for a longer time enable in-man or woman visits to people.

Armendariz’s daughters, nevertheless, reported they had no thought the digicam would seize footage on Nov. 10 of their father struggling to breathe and then gasping for air right before passing away.

That footage, which has been offered to the KSAT 12 Defenders, is a significant element of official problems filed with the Texas Board of Nursing and the Texas Wellbeing and Human Expert services Commission.

The online video, captured by the Ring camera as it sat on a desk in the vicinity of Armendariz’s mattress, shows what occurred just after breathing tubes supplying oxygen to the 80-calendar year-old fell from his nose.

His daughters, Kesia Armendariz and Arianna Dornbusch, contend that staff members at Golden Estates went various several hours concerning conducting facial area-to-face observations of their father and need to have witnessed faster that just one and then both equally oxygen tubes had fallen out.

“Watching the movie, my father was now dying and they by no means assisted my father,” claimed daughter Kesia Armendariz.

Rafael Armendariz’s daughters spoke with the KSAT 12 Defenders about their father’s death late previous calendar year. (KSAT)

Rafael Armendariz’s household, which has also filed a notice of well being care declare with the facility citing a absence of appropriate treatment and checking, strategies to also file a official lawsuit later this year in opposition to the Northwest Facet facility.

Golden Estates officials have declined to comment on Rafael Armendariz’s dying, stating they are prohibited from accomplishing so because of to federal wellbeing care legislation.

Rafael Armendariz, a retired chef with 8 grandchildren, experienced been a resident of Golden Estates given that Could 2017, his relatives said.

He experienced dementia, and in accordance to a San Antonio Police Section report regarding his demise, also experienced from diabetic issues and acute kidney failure.

Rafael Armendariz prevented contracting COVID-19 until early November 2020.

A Ring digital camera captured footage of a nurse inserting a tube less than her father’s nose all over that time in buy to supply oxygen, Dornbusch mentioned.

Employees later on explained to Dornbusch her father would need to have to be on oxygen all around the clock for the reason that of respiratory challenges brought about by the virus, she said.

On Nov. 10, 1 of two cannulas — the thin tubes that deliver oxygen — fell out of Rafael Armendariz’s nose as he lay in bed all around 1:30 a.m., according to the formal grievances.

All-around 3:08 a.m., the footage shows that Rafael Armendariz lifted his blanket earlier mentioned his head though the other cannula remained in area. When he lowered it two minutes afterwards, the client continued to put his hand on his facial area and the breathing tube could no more time be noticed, the footage displays.

Within just 30 minutes, Rafael Armendariz’s breathing gets noticeably labored, in accordance to the online video. By 4:11 a.m., he is gasping for air.

He appears to prevent respiratory close to 4:25 a.m., the footage confirmed. Around just one hour and 17 minutes handed in between the time his respiration tube fell out and the time he appeared to end respiratory.

“It’s agonizing for us to see. We just can’t even envision how other individuals are most likely in the very same problem devoid of a camera,” explained Kesia Armendariz, who can be listened to on the video clip right after 4:30 a.m. imploring staff to verify her father’s critical indicators.

A personnel member appears on monitor all-around 4:38 a.m. and places the oxygen tube back in area, the footage reveals.

A staff member at Golden Estates puts Rafael Armendariz's oxygen tube back in place after Armendariz appeared to stop breathing on Nov. 10.
A staff member at Golden Estates puts Rafael Armendariz’s oxygen tube back in position right after Armendariz appeared to prevent respiratory on Nov. 10. (KSAT)

Even though the team member proceeds to rub Rafael Armendariz’s sternum and consistently try to check for his pulse, the affected individual no more time moves, according to the footage.

Rafael Armendariz was pronounced useless at 5:28 a.m., in accordance to his demise certification.

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Kesia Armendariz also mentioned she frequently identified as the facility that early morning and even showed up in individual at the building after seeing the distressing video clip all-around 4 a.m., but that no one particular answered her phone calls or the entrance door.

Kesia Armendariz can be heard making the exact same promises on the Ring camera right after the staff member appeared on digital camera and began attending to her father.

The staffer, who at just one position can be listened to off-camera elevating his voice though on his mobile telephone, informed San Antonio police that he was producing rounds commencing at 12 a.m. and was checking on the sufferers just about every two hours.

Rafael Armendariz’s daughters, nevertheless, dispute this timeline, claiming in the complaint submitted to the nursing board that their father was last checked on at 12:42 a.m.

The daughters position to the Ring digital camera timestamp, which they imagine proves nearly 4 hours handed concerning deal with to facial area checks of their father.

The daughters also contend that Rafael Armendariz’s nurse contact button was draped more than the railing of his bed in a way that they feel kept him from being ready to reach it.

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An legal professional representing the loved ones shared a nonetheless picture from the Ring digicam captured 12 hrs ahead of Rafael Armendariz’s loss of life exhibiting the button hanging around a railing and future to the mattress, as a substitute of it getting positioned on the mattress in the vicinity of the patient’s hand.

When questioned about the grievance about Rafael Armendariz’s death, an HHS spokesman reported by using email last thirty day period that its investigators have been investigating the facility and actively monitoring it for compliance.

He extra that a ultimate report on the investigation would sooner or later be created general public.

Golden Estates Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center in the 100 block of Spencer Lane.
Golden Estates Rehabilitation and Healthcare Centre in the 100 block of Spencer Lane. (KSAT)

Knowledge from HHS, which tracks COVID-19 cases in Texas nursing residences, demonstrates that Golden Estates has stored coronavirus cases rather contained.

As of Dec. 17, 6 people experienced died of COVID-19 troubles and there ended up only three lively scenarios of the virus among the clients and staff, HHS documents display.

Eleven other nursing households in the San Antonio place have by now had 12 or a lot more residents die from the virus, according to the information.

Shawn C. Golden, an legal professional representing Golden Estates, sent the following statement by means of electronic mail when asked about the allegations:

“The Federal Health and fitness Insurance policy Portability and Accountability Act and Well being Information Technology for Economics and Medical Wellness Act bar wellbeing care suppliers from disclosing or commenting on the wellbeing information of any latest or former affected individual, whether or not residing or deceased. Accordingly, my shopper is prohibited by federal legislation from commenting on this subject.”

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