Woman dies after she was 'forgotten under hairdryer'
WARNING - GRAPHIC CONTENT: A 93-year-old woman with dementia died from horrific burns after a care home worker put her under a hairdryer and allegedly forgot about her, police have been told in Germany.
The victim - named only as Waltraud B. in local media - had just had her hair washed at the care home in the town of Schwedt.
But when her carer put her under a dryer in her room, they forgot about her, local media reports, and her condition meant she was unable to get out from under the blistering heat.
Official paperwork about the accident says her entire forehead was burnt and led to the secretion of yellow pus.
But instead of rushing her to hospital, staff simply put antiseptic cream on the burns, it has emerged.
They did not call an ambulance until the following day causing a critical delay that her family say sealed her fate.
Waltraud died 10 days after the incident, despite the best efforts of hospital medics.
Care home resident endured 'terrible suffering', daughter claims
Her daughter Annette, 64, has filed a complaint with police for negligent homicide and failure to provide assistance.
She is also demanding compensation for the pain and suffering caused.
"If a doctor had been called immediately, my mother would not have had to endure this terrible suffering," she said.
In the complaint, she said that the people that were supposed to have cared for her mother had failed in their duty because of "a combination of overworked staff followed by an attempt to cover-up their mistakes".
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The day after the incident Annette was called and told her mother had "a few burns."
"When I came to visit in the morning when mother's hair had been washed again and it wasn't possible to see the extent of the injuries."
It was only after 8pm that evening – more than 30 hours later – that an emergency doctor identified first-degree burns and urged that she be sent to hospital.
The emergency room report claimed that the relatives had said they did not want her admitted but the daughter said this is not true and added: "We were not asked."
In hospital, the injuries worsened forming a black crust on her head and medics diagnosed second-degree burns with damage all the way down into the deep skin layers.
Waltraud stopped eating altogether but when her daughter complained she claims the nursing home told her to stop making a fuss.
Local newspapers contacted the owners of the "Haus Gerda" nursing team run by PWG Pflegeteam 24 Schwedt GmbH but they declined to comment.
On their webpage advertising the services, they say: "We have made it our task to offer intensive care gives residents in the family security, provide reliable help and assures the client's quality-of-life."
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