Family says staff left grandmother behind in dialysis clinic

The family of an 86-year-old woman who was left behind in a Methuen, Massachusetts, medical clinic for hours after it closed is demanding answers.

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Maureen Perry, of Chelmsford, received her four-hour dialysis treatment at Fresenius Medical Care in Methuen on Saturday. After the treatment was over, the staff closed the building, forgetting she was inside, her granddaughter, Erica Crosby told WFXT.

An ambulance arrived to transport her back to her rehabilitation facility, but found the building dark, closed and locked up.

As reported on WFXT, staff at the rehab later notified Perry's family, three hours after the clinic had been closed. Crosby and her mother rushed to the clinic, doubtful Perry would still be inside.

"We pulled up to this facility. I get out of the car and she's in there," Crosby said. "The lights are completely off, the building's locked up, and I'm banging on the window, 'Are you OK? Can you hear me?' And she's shrugging her shoulders."

Crosby called 911 and snapped a picture of her grandmother sitting alone in her chair through the window. Firefighters unlocked the building and let them inside.

Perry was cold from the air conditioning and thirsty. Doctors at her rehab checked her out and found her to be physically okay, as reported on WFXT. 

"She's really, really shaken up still," Crosby told WFXT. "We saw her this morning, and she was just beside herself still, can't wrap her head around what unfolded."

A spokesperson for Fresenius Medical Care North America said in a statement to WFXT, "Our patients’ care and safety are our top priorities. This is an issue of great concern and we are looking into the matter."

Methuen police said they filed a report with the state Department of Elder Affairs, the Department of Public Health and the Commonwealth Board of Registration in Medicine. The matter is not criminal, police said.

Crosby herself is a nurse and Perry, too, is a retired nurse. They both hope procedures are improved.

"I just don't want this to happen to anyone else," Crosby said. "That's my bottom line."

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