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Florida Nurse Accused of Scalding Prisoner with Hot Water

A registered nurse at Florida’s Lake Correctional Institution (LCI) was charged on February 8, 2011 with abuse, aggravated abuse and neglect of an elderly or disabled adult. The charges followed a three-month investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE).

Nurse Elaine M. Wade, 48, was accused of failing to assess and document the unnamed prisoner’s condition following a November 27, 2010 incident that resulted in the prisoner being burned by hot water during a shower. While Wade provided treatment immediately after the prisoner was scalded, she failed to note his “worsening condition” during an examination the next day.

Later that day the prisoner was taken to a local hospital, where doctors found he had first- and second-degree burns over 25-35% of his body. He was also dehydrated and had low blood pressure.

FDLE agents said the prisoner was scalded while Wade was overseeing his shower in the prison’s infirmary. She posted a $2,000 bond after her arrest at LCI; when asked by a news reporter if she had burned the prisoner with hot water, she replied, “I had nothing to do with him getting burned, sir.”

LCI houses prisoners with mental health problems. It has a crisis stabilization unit that receives prisoners from other facilities following psychiatric incidents.

The felony neglect charge against Wade was dropped (nolle prosequi) in January 2012.

Sources: WFTV, St. Petersburg Times,

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