Sarah Waclawski, 25, a Certified Nurse Aide at the Genesee County Nursing Home in Batavia, New York was arrested in February 2014 for injuring a 100-year-old dementia patient under her care. Authorities allege that the aide then failed to report the incident to her supervisor. Waclawski appeared before the Honorable Robert Balbick of the Batavia City Court and pled not guilty to one count of Endangering the Welfare of an Incompetent or Physically Disabled Person in the First Degree, a class E felony punishable by up to four years in state prison. Waclawski was released on her own recognizance and is scheduled to appear in court at a later date.
According to court documents and the felony complaint, Waclawski was taking care of an elderly patient suffering from dementia on March 27, 2013. The patient’s individual care plan required that the patient be transferred from her bed to her wheelchair by two staff members. However, on the date of the incident, Waclawsi transferred the elderly woman from her wheelchair to her bed without any assistance. Waclawski then transferred the woman out of the bed into her wheelchair without the help of any staff member. When the 100-year-old resident got back into her wheelchair, she then fell to the floor and hit her head, resulting in a painful laceration.
After the incident occurred, Waclawski failed to follow required procedures to alert the on-duty supervisor of the fall in order to perform a medical assessment on the patient. According to the criminal complaint, Waclawski only sought the help of another nursing aide to put the patient back into the bed. However, when she returned to the resident’s room 15 to 20 minutes later, Waclawski saw blood on the patient’s pillow. One hour after the incident, a nurse observed Waclawski wiping the patient’s head. The nurse reported that several of the used wipes had blood on them.
Commenting on the felony arrest, New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman stated, “Families who place their loved one in a nursing home should be able to take comfort in knowing that they’ll receive the best care possible. By ignoring her patient’s care plan and then failing to seek medical attention for her when she fell, Sarah Waclawski showed blatant disregard for the health and safety of her patient. My office will continue to prosecute cases like this to the fullest extent and send the message, loud and clear, that this conduct will not be tolerated.”