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Long Island Nursing Home Under Fire Following Another Resident Death

Outrage After Grandmothers Die In Meford Multicare Center's 40-Bed Ventilator Unit

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HAUPPAUGE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A Long Island nursing home is under investigation following the recent death of a 71-year-old resident.

Back in June, some employees at Medford Multicare Center were charged in the death of another resident in the same unit, CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan reported Friday.

McLogan asked for access to Medford Multicare Center, but was told “No, absolutely not” by employees. She wanted to speak to owners about the latest death of a patient — this one attributed to a machine malfunction.

Sandra Cunha’s funeral was being planned Friday. Her death followed that of Aurelia Rios. Both grandmothers died in the nursing home’s 40-bed ventilator unit, McLogan reported.

Attorney Andrea Camacho represents the families.

“They are very shocked, frustrated and angry that they weren’t provided with the information in a timely fashion the way they should have been,” Camacho said.

Rios, 72, of Central Islip, died on Oct. 26, 2012. On June 5 of this year nine home employees were arraigned on patient neglect and abuse charges, and for falsifying business records in connection with Rios’s death. They all pleaded not guilty.

Cunha died on July 20. Investigators for State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s Office went to the home a day later, followed the next day by officials from the state Health Department.

“It does concern us very, very much because I think there is a lot of abuse, not only here,” one nursing home family member said.

“If you go to all the nursing homes, they are all going to have issues, you know what I’m saying? Just not Medford. They are very caring to my mom,” another added.

In the latest case, Medford Multicare reported that a regularly serviced machine stopped working. Within 80 seconds staff responded, but the patient died two minutes later.

Cunha’s family said the death certificate disputes that timeline, but acknowledges the she suffered from acute and chronic respiratory failure.

“I think it should close down. I don’t think they should be allowed to take care of patients,” daughter Michelle Giamarino said.

Lawyers for the facility and the employees told the attorney general and Health Department that no crimes were committed and that the staff did not try to cover up anything, McLogan reported.

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