PENDLETON — The Indiana attorney general has filed a complaint against the director of nursing and infection preventionist at Rawlins House Health and Living Community, accusing her of several state violations surrounding the care of a patient at the facility.
Catherine McCoskey told surveyors with the Indiana State Department of Health that she personally provided care for a patient on Oct. 29, 2018, including the woman’s oral care, turning and repositioning the woman and other personal medical care.
The care, however, was not documented, according to the complaint.
Around noon on Oct. 30, 2018, the 89-year-old patient was transported to Community Hospital Anderson and health care providers documented built-up medication and food compacted on the roof of her mouth and her teeth, according to the attorney general’s complaint filed Nov. 15, 2019.
The patient also had a “build-up of greenish drainage in and around her eyes,” sediment and large clumps of material in her catheter tubing and drainage bag, according to the complaint.
Janet McSharar, an attorney representing McCoskey and Rawlins House, said there is an explanation for the patient’s condition and her client is not at fault.
“It’s a long story and I’m not necessarily interested in trying the case in the press,” McSharar said.
She said the attorney general filed a complaint against her client with the Indiana State Board of Nursing, but none of the violations have been proven.
“They are alleging certain rules regulating nursing were violated,” she said. “They haven’t proved their case yet.”
In the complaint, the attorney general accuses McCoskey of using unsafe judgment and technical skills, falsifying, omitting or destroying documentation of nursing actions on the official patient’s record, abandoning or neglecting patients requiring nursing care and “has become unfit to practice” due to failure to keep abreast of current professional theory or practice.
McSharar said she does not feel any of the violations in the complaint can be proven.
Several health care providers including Pendleton Emergency Ambulance and two workers at Community Hospital Anderson documented the patient’s overall condition when she was taken to the hospital for her treatment.
McSharar said McCoskey had been the director of nursing for Rawlins House for about six weeks prior to the incident and she remains in that position.
“I am defending her and defending her vigorously against those allegations,” McSharar said. “She abandoned no one. That’s an unfortunate and unfair allegation. That didn’t happen.”