Westchester Nursing Home Pays $12,000 Fine to Department of Health

Andrus on Hudson, a nursing home located in Hastings-on-Hudson, Westchester agreed to pay a $12,000 fine to the Department of Health. The fine, according to lohud.com, stems from an incident in 2011 in which a resident died while suffering from cardiac arrest. The lohud article cites the date of the incident as May 5, however it seems that the actual incident in question occurred on May 15, 2011.

In the original Detailed Deficiency report filed by the Department of Health regarding this incident, Andrus received the highest possible score for harm to a patient–four stars, or “immediate jeopardy.” The DOH found that the facility failed to provide necessary care for the highest practicable well-being of its residents, and that the facility was not effectively administered to obtain this highest practicable well-being. The Department found that the substandard quality of care being administered at Andrus posed the threat of serious harm to the health and safety of the fifty-three residents at the facility who were under CPR orders.

The incident itself occurred when a resident suffering from cardiac arrest was improperly identified as a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) by the staff at Andrus. Because of this mistake, life saving procedures were not performed and the resident died as a result. The events unfolded as they did due to a change in facility record keeping. Prior to January of 2011, Andrus labeled a resident’s records with a white face to indicate that the resident was a DNR. Following January, however, the use of this white face was extended for use in all records, not simply DNR’s. The DOH found that Andrus did not properly and sufficiently train its staff regarding CPR and DNR orders. Subsequent staff interviews confirmed the DOH findings, as multiple staff members were unable to determine DNR status when questioned.

Unfortunately for the resident detailed in the report, any changes in training and policy at Andrus occurred too late. It is unclear from the lohud article and the DOH deficiency report whether or not the family filed a wrongful death suit against the facility. The article can be found here, and the detailed deficiency report can be found here on the Department of Health website.

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