According to a New York State Department of Health Deficiency Survey released recently, a Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) at Fieldston Lodge Care Center in the Bronx broke an elderly resident’s arm in January of this year. Reportedly, the CNA was attempting to perform incontinence care on the female resident. When the resident resisted, claiming that she did not need the care at that time, the CNA grabbed the resident by the arm and twisted, causing a fracture of the distal ulna joint.
The allegations set forth by the resident are quite disturbing. Equally, if not more disturbing, is the manner in which the facility itself handled this situation. The alleged incident occurred on the afternoon of Sunday, January 2nd. There was no documentation of the occurrence in the January 2nd Daily Patient Care Report. Furthermore, although a different nurse responded to the resident’s cries for help, an x-ray, the results of which displayed the fracture, was not ordered until the following morning.
Title 42 of the Code of Federal Regulations, section 483.25 states that “Each resident must receive and the facility must provide the necessary care and services to attain or maintain the highest practicable physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being.” Additionally, section 483.13(b)makes clear that “The resident has the right to be free from verbal, sexual, physical, and mental abuse, corporal punishment, and involuntary seclusion.” Certainly, if the resident’s allegations are true, the facility is in direct violation of these provisions of the Code. The Code guarantees the rights of residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Incidents such as the one documented above, while unfortunate, reinforce the necessity of maintaining the highest levels of staffing at such homes, in order to prevent future episodes from arising.