Suffolk County Bedsore Attorney Report: Momentum at South Bay Citations Almost Double The Statewide Average

Momentum at South Bay, the East Islip based nursing home, was cited in a New York Department of Health deficiency report dated June 20, 2011. The report details numerous citations and violations of policy by the Suffolk County nursing home. The facility was cited for 27 standard health deficiencies. The New York State average number of standard health deficiencies was 17.

Listed first in the report is a violation of 42 CFR 483.20(g)-(j). These sections mandate an accurate assessment of the resident’s status, as well as coordination between nurses and health professionals, and certification of the assessments when complete.The report states that according to the facility’s Minimum Data Set, “Resident 13” was on a physician-prescribed weight loss program. Documentation of the physician orders contradicted this MDS, however, as there were no physicians orders for weight loss. Ordering a manageable diet in elderly and infirm residents in a nursing home is the responsibility of a physician and/oror dietician. Because these residents must maintain very specific nutritional requirements, a nurse or nurse’s aide cannot take it upon him or herself to adjust the diet of a resident. Unfortunately, it appears from the report that this is what occurred at Momentum at South Bay.

A second deficiency noted in the report is a failure to establish an infection control program. This was noted during an unsanitary cleansing of a sacral pressure ulcer. A nurse did not employ adequate sanitation measures while cleansing the ulcer. According to federal regulation, a facility must maintain a program designed to prevent the development and transmission of disease and infection. When dealing with pressure ulcers, this is even more essential than normal. Because they are open wounds, pressure ulcers have a predisposition to infection. Failure to perform any and all necessary sanitation precautions prior to cleansing the wound or changing dressings may lead to an increased risk of infection, or the exacerbation of an infection already present. This in turn may lead to further infection, sepsis, and death.

The above are only two of the deficiencies noted by the DOH in its report. Click here to access its findings in their entirety.

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