Saints Joachim & Anne Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, a nursing home located in Brooklyn, NY, was cited in an October, 2013 certification survey issued by the Department of Health. Among the several deficiencies noted by the DOH was a failure to establish an infection control program at the facility.
A nursing home must ensure that it investigates, controls, and prevents infections within the facility. This includes proper disposal of bedclothes and linens of infected individuals when the situation warrants. During this investigation by the DOH, it found an individual who had been admitted to the rehabilitation center with numerous diagnoses, one of which was Possible Scabies. Although one of the most common ways to spread scabies is through used personal items, such as bedding or towels, the facility failed to properly place a “red bin” inside the resident’s room in order to properly monitor potentially infectious materials. The nursing home also failed to isolate the resident’s supplies from those of other inhabitants of the home.
Individual treatment of the possibly infected resident also deviated from the facility’s own procedures and protocols. Per a Registered Nurse at the nursing home, when treating an individual for a possible outbreak of scabies, contact precautions are to be taken, including wearing gloves and a protective gown at all times. Additionally, a sign should be posted outside the resident’s room as a warning that the resident is potentially infested. Although it appears from the report that gloves were worn while administering treatment, at least on Certified Nursing Assistant did not wear a gown while in close contact with the individual.
Based upon the DOH report, it does seem that the nursing center took appropriate steps to treat the resident’s own potential scabies. Without taking the necessary precautionary measures while doing so, however, could have led to a more major outbreak within the facility, affecting the comfort, health, and well-being of other residents and staff.