Elderly woman's death at nursing home under investigation - FOX Carolina 21

Elderly woman's death at nursing home under investigation

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A sign indicates the location of Majesty Health and Rehab of Easley. (File/FOX Carolina) A sign indicates the location of Majesty Health and Rehab of Easley. (File/FOX Carolina)
EASLEY, SC (FOX Carolina) -

An elderly woman is dead in Easley, and the Pickens County Coroner believes sweltering heat may have contributed to her death Saturday. 

The 84-year-old woman was a resident at Majesty Health and Rehab in Easley. Her death is now under investigation.

The coroner is currently calling the incident a possible heat-related death because their office received numerous reports that it was very warm inside Majesty Health and Rehab Saturday.

Autopsy results for 84-year-old Eloise Arnold will not return for another four to six weeks. The county coroner said the woman did have pre-existing conditions that could have caused her death, but reports of the condition of her room at Majesty Health and Rehab from family members were concerning.

"They said it was warm," said Pickens County Coroner Kandy Kelley. "Very, very warm in the facility."

Easley police were called to the nursing home Saturday for a welfare check after someone complained about the heat, that's when they found Arnold and EMS took her to the hospital where she later died.

Police said the temperature inside the nursing home was 91 degrees. They also said 37 residents were moved from that hot area to another wing of the facility.

DHEC says they have been notified of the incident and are not able to comment on the matter as it is still under investigation. They did state that according to state regulations, the temperature for occupied areas of nursing homes is not to exceed 81 degrees in the summer.

Dr. Hiep Pham of Greenville Memorial Hospital was not involved in the case, and was not able to comment directly on this incident, but said in general that proper air conditioning in a heat wave is vital for elderly patients.

"If the temperatures go above 90, a fan doesn't work," said Dr. Hiep Pham. "If it goes to 100 degrees, the fan actually works like a confection oven."

Fox Carolina attempted to contact Majesty Heath and Rehab numerous times Monday and they did not comment on the phone or release a statement about the incident to Fox Carolina.

The coroner said Arnold's family did visit the woman before she passed away Saturday, and said she appeared to be doing well at the time of their visit.

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