Death of Betty BoyesHome > Abuse & Neglect Studies > Death of Betty Boyes
Ms. Edith Baraniecki,
RN, Director, Protection For Persons in Care Act abuse line
Elizabeth “Betty” Boyes
Bethany Care Center 7th Floor,
Kensington Building, 916 18A Street NW Calgary, AB.
Photograph taken May 24, 2009.
Deceased Saturday, June 15, 2009
On Monday, June 15, 2009, we went to visit this lady at the Bethany Care Center @ 3:30 PM.
We were shocked to be told that she had deceased two days before, Saturday, June 13, 2009, three weeks after the photograph.
The injuries are not consistent with a fall from a bed.
It strongly appears that there was more than one incident due to the different coloring of the bruises.
We were told by family members, that she had twice escaped from the lockedÂ unit.
She would carefully watch those who were leaving the unity and memorize the numbers which were entered on the key pad.
There was a sign on the locked unit doors that stated doors should be kept closed because a resident was trying to escape.
When she was seen on the 24th, she was observed to be in pain.
She told them that once she managed to get outside the building, she remembers nothing but waking up back inside, in severe pain.
She said that she would keep trying to escape.Â Her eyes were injured, blood was oozing out of her eyes and mouth.
She informed family members that she had been restrained to the bed.
We ask that your Department investigate the cause of the injuries and the sudden death of Betty Boyes.
Elder Advocates of Alberta Society
Response – June 26, 2009
Response – November 26, 2009
Letter – December 11, 2009
Response to Preliminary Report File No. 6393
dated November 26, 2009 / Bobbie Murphy, RN. Protection For Persons in Care Act
Reference Elizabeth “Betty” Boyes, Bethany Care Centre, 7th Floor, Kensington Building, 916 â€“ 18A St. NW, Calgary, AB, photograph was taken May 24th, 2009. Deceased June 15th, 2009.
Our stated complaint was as follows:
“On Monday, June 15th, 2009 we went to visit this lady at the Bethany Care Centre at 3:30 p.m. We were shocked and were told that she had deceased two days before, Sat. June 13th, 2009, three weeks after the photograph. The injuries are not consistent with a fall from a bed. It strongly appears that there was more than one incident due to the different coloring of the bruises. We were told by family members that she had twice escaped from the locked unit. She would carefully watch those who were leaving the unit and memorize the numbers which were entered on the key pad. There was a sign on the locked unit door that stated that doors should be kept closed because a resident was trying to escape.
When she was seen on the 24th she was observed to be in pain. She told them that once she managed to get outside the building she remembers nothing but waking up back inside in severe pain. She said that she would keep trying to escape. Her eyes were injured. Blood was oozing out of her eyes and mouth. She informed family members that she had been restrained to the bed”.
We requested your department to investigate the cause of the injuries and the sudden death of Betty Boyes. Protection For Persons In Care Response: Concerning Betty Boyes, Calgary. Bethany Care Centre.
Para 1 Page 2
The resident’s spouse allegedly stated that he was unaware of the resident’s fall and injuries until he was shown pictures of her on May 24, 2009. Was he not aware of the stated May 19th injury or even previous injuries? He does not appear to have been informed concerning his wife.
Para 3 Page 2
According to the report, resident’s step-daughter and son, were unaware Betty Boyes had suffered any other injury or fall after the May 19th,2009 injury or on previous injuries. The Report goes on to say, “based on the resident’s injuries, the step-daughter instructed staff not to send her to the hospital after her fall.” This is troubling since days
later, Betty Boyes had blood oozing from her eyes and from her mouth. Or was there another injury after the cited May 19th, injury? Furthermore, one would question why it was the step-daughter’s decision whether this person would be sent to hospital rather than the RN on duty or Betty Boyes physician.
Why would anyone deny medical care to this injured senior?
In paragraph 3, it is noted that the paid companions refused or declined to be interviewed. Why?
Para 4 Page 2
HCA #3 stated that at 21:30 hrs. of May 19, 2009 the resident was put to bed. No injuries were noted. HCA #2 stated that a co-worker took the resident to her room at 21:45 hrs. This is a contradiction since the resident was already in her bed at 21:30 hrs.
It is also noteworthy that allegedly at 21:30 the bed alarm and side rails were put in place. How could she have been found outside of her bed and outside of the room? It is also troubling that healthcare aids No.l, No.2, No.3, No.5 and No.6, Nursing aid No. 1 and LPN No. 1 all stated that their pagers did not alert them that the resident had crawled out of her bed.
Para 5 Page 2
Then NA. 1 and healthcare aid 1 stated that at 23:55 hrs. they found her “eyebrow bruised and bleeding”, and on the floor outside of her room. The RN was called and allegedly treated the resident.
The injury is referred to as a “head injury” and yet there is no further record that she was sent to emergency, had an x-ray or had any other assessments done.
LP1 stated that he noted a cut above her right eyebrow, bruising around her eye but there is no mention of the extreme bruising around her left eye and cheek. The report states that LP1 took Betty Boyes vitals and transferred her to her bed and then it goes on to say that he and healthcare aid #2 placed the resident in her Broda Chair.
Which was it?
RN1 stated that she could not recall whether or not the resident had a bed alarm. Why then did all these aids and other caregivers have pagers?
Para 3, RN # 2 stated that on May 20, 2009 at 6:00 hrs. the resident had bruising at swelling on both sides of her face. This contradicts what was earlier stated that she was just injured on the left side of her face.
Was this aother injury?
We do not accept that some residents are able to get out of bed without setting off the bed alarm, particularly when there are side rails in place.
The physician did not attend until May 22, 2009 in the early afternoon, 3 1/2 days later. Why would he comment that she could see out of both eyes when allegedly the injury of May 19, 2009 was to her right side?
The Medical Examiner stated that the multiple contusions on the resident’s face were in various states of healing. This confirms that other injuries did occur prior to or after the alleged injury of May 19, 2009.
Please note the following:
AGE DATING OF BRUISES
- A bruise or contusion is an impact site on the skin surface over subcutaneous or deeper bedding.
- The ages and colors of bruises may show if more than one injury is present.
- If the explanation concerning the bruise does not adequately account for the bruises or bruise, abuse should be suspected.
- The presence of more than one explained bruise on a person’s head correlates highly with abuse.
If a black eye is present the history must detail an appropriate injury to that side. It is difficult to break the tissue around the eye without damaging the nose as well unless the black eye results from direct blows as from a fist. It is unlikely that a person will sustain two black eyes from a fall unless the nose is broken also.
If the person falls on the centre of it’s face, injury to the nose will occur. This position of contact protects one or both eyes and they should not be blackened.
Bi-lateral black eyes when there is no broken nose must be caused by at least two blows and cannot be explained by a single incident. There are diseases that can spontaneously cause black eyes, such as malignant neuroblastoma which may be associated with bony abnormalities palpable on the forehead. Betty Boyes did not have such diagnosis.
There must as always be, an appropriate history for the bruising. The absence of an external lesion on a person’s head does not preclude massive internal injuries. Lateral injuries to the face which are found on the ears, cheeks, temporal and parietal areas (not including single parietal fractures) are highly suspicious for abuse.
BRUISE AGE DATING
The Report provided no appropriate history of the Bruising.
Considering the severity of the known injuries and bruises and the sudden death, this matter should be reported to the Calgary Police Service for investigation.
We question the integrity of this report.
Elder Advocates of Alberta Society