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Lawrence County care home administrator charged in relation to patient’s fatal seizure

The administrator of a Lawrence County care home is accused of failing to provide a resident’s medications, which led to a fatal seizure in 2021.

Kelly Gonzales, the administrator at ARC of Lawrence County in New Castle, allegedly failed to renew a prescription for the patient’s anti-seizure medication and then falsely altered medical records to indicate that a health care provider discontinued the medication, according to state Attorney General Michelle Henry.

Gonzales, 48, was charged Tuesday, Nov. 28, with felony counts of neglect of a care dependent person and tampering with records, as well as misdemeanor involuntary manslaughter.

Gonzales surrendered Tuesday and was arraigned and released on her own recognizance, according to the attorney general.

“The resident relied on this defendant’s care and professionalism — his life depended on it — and the defendant neglected that duty leading to tragic consequences,” Henry said. “My office has no tolerance for providers who violate their duty of care and put our most vulnerable residents at risk.”

The resident was diagnosed with a seizure disorder and was prescribed anti-seizure medication to control his seizures. He died at the care home on Dec. 2, 2021, after not receiving his medication for more than 10 days. Upon autopsy, it was discovered that the seizure disorder caused his death, and that the levels of anti-seizure medication in his system were well below therapeutic levels.

As the administrator of the personal care home, Gonzales was responsible for the administration and management of the home, including ensuring the residents’ paperwork was complete and that they attended all medical appointments and received their prescribed medication in a timely manner, according to the attorney general.

This case will be prosecuted by senior deputy attorney general Christopher R. Sherwood.

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