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Nanticoke Nurse Gets 6-23 Months For Patient Death

December 21, 2018
Nanticoke Nurse Gets 6-23 Months For Patient Death

WILKES-BARRE — A Nanticoke nurse convicted of manslaughter for the death of a patient was sentenced Friday to serve at least six months in the Luzerne County Correctional Facility.

Kelly E. Levandowski, 40, was sentenced to six to 23 months in the county jail followed by three years of probation over the death of Melvin Johnson, 72, who died after going into cardiac arrest at the Guardian Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center at 147 Old Newport St., on June 20, 2013.

Luzerne County Judge Michael T. Vough imposed the sentence Friday, ordering Levandowski to have no contact with Johnson’s family and to forfeit her registered nursing license.

Levandowski was initially charged with neglect of care of a dependant person, a felony alleging she “intentionally, knowingly or negligently” failed to provide sufficient care to Johnson. In September, she pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, a misdemeanor offense with a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

Prosecutors say Johnson had a ruptured aneurism and brain bleeding, and was admitted to Guardian on the day of her death after being removed from a ventilator.

At least four staff members told Levandowski, a shift supervisor, they were concerned about Johnson pulling on a breathing tube, but she stayed seated at the nursing station, prosecutors said.

At one point when Johnson pulled out the tube, Levandowski reinserted it but failed to call 911 as required by facility policy, prosecutors said. About a half-hour later, another nurse found Johnson had pulled out the tube and was unresponsive, according to prosecutors.

A nurse told authorities that Levandowski directed her to fill out a form indicating regular 15-minute checks had been performed on Johnson, even though they had not been, according to prosecutors.

After being sentenced Friday, Levandowski was remanded to the county jail to serve her sentence. Vough gave her credit for 30 days time served.

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