A man dying of a brain hemorrhage at a state-run institution for people with disabilities had to wait more than 10 minutes for staffers to call an ambulance because one nurse didn’t know if she was allowed to dial 911 and two others argued over who had to help him, according to a state investigation.
But that delay is only one in a series of failures surrounding the July death at the Austin State Supported Living Center, the report states. Investigators said employees didn’t know what drugs the man had been prescribed, didn’t know that he was vulnerable to head injuries and, consequently, allowed him to slap himself in the head and face for three hours — all of which officials say played a role in the fatal injury.
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Andrea Ball has covered social services for the American-Statesman since 2002. Her recent work has included reports about patient care deficiencies at state facilities for people with mental illness and intellectual disabilities, and about state hospital psychiatrists with a history of sexual improprieties.