National

Gifu nursing home probed following three deaths in two weeks

Kyodo

The Soleil nursing home in Takayama, Gifu Prefecture, was inspected Friday in connection with the deaths of three residents and serious injuries to two others since the end of July.

Commenting on the incidents, an official from medical corporation Doujinkai, which manages the nursing home, noted that “intentional factors cannot be ruled out.”

The police are also looking into the cases to determine whether they were accidents or criminal cases.

One of those who died was an 80-year-old man who choked on food in one of the rooms and was rushed to hospital. He was pronounced dead on July 31.

This was followed by a 93-year-old woman was found collapsed in a room on Aug. 6 and died later of a cerebral contusion.

Last Sunday, an 87-year-old woman died at a hospital after turning pale the previous day and showing abrupt changes in her condition at the facility. An autopsy found she died after a broken rib tore one of her lungs.

The two other residents — women aged 91 and 93 — were hospitalized earlier this week for a broken rib and a pulmonary contusion, the operator said.

“There has been no case where three residents have died in a short period of time. We cannot rule out the possibility of intentional factors,” said Doujinkai chief Kenichi Orishige.

“It is extremely problematic if a specific person is involved in the incidents but we cannot deny or reach such a conclusion. We’d like to find out by cooperating with the prefectural government and the police,” Orishige told reporters.

Soleil was established in 1997 and offers rehabilitation and other services. It can accommodate 100 people.