Bensonhurst Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare: 27 Presumed Covid-19 Deaths

Bensonhurst Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare suffered 10 confirmed Covid-19 deaths and 27 presumed Covid-19 deaths as of November 23, 2020, according to state records. The nursing home received 25 citations for violations of public health code between 2016 and 2020, according to New York State Department of Health records accessed on November 23, 2020. The Brooklyn nursing home’s citations resulted from a total of three surveys by state inspectors. The deficiencies they describe include the following:

1. The nursing home did not ensure sanitary food services. Section 483.60 of the Federal Code requires nursing homes to “procure food from sources approved or considered satisfactory by federal, state or local authorities” and ensure food is stored in compliance with professional standards of practice. A February 2020 citation found that Bensonhurst Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare failed to ensure such. The citation states specifically that the facility did not ensure its food service workers performed hand hygiene before they handled food. An inspector also observed a meat slicer that “was not properly cleaned after use.” The citation goes on to state that despite the nursing home’s policies stating “gloves must be changed or removed before starting another job and Don’t forget always wash hands when you change gloves before starting another job,” a dietary aide “was observed touching the trash can lid without gloves as he discarded empty metal pudding cans,” then donning cleaning gloves, cleaning the tilt skillet, removing his gloves, and discarding leftover food without washing his hands first. The Aide was observed handling various other items and scooping cereal into a paper cup without first washing his hands. A second dietary aide was observed cleaning the meat slicer without removing its sharpener blade, on which meat debris was observed after the cleaning. A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included the in-servicing of kitchen staff.

2. The nursing home did not ensure the adequate storage and labeling of drugs and biologicals. Section 483.45 of the Federal Code stipulates that nursing homes must label drugs and biologicals “in accordance with currently accepted professional principles, and include the appropriate accessory and cautionary instructions, and the expiration date.” A February 2020 citation found that Bensonhurst Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare did not properly do so. The citation states specifically that facility staff did not remove an antibiotic eye ointment from a medication cart after the order for the ointment was discontinued. The citation goes on to state that staff did not discard an “enema set and enema mineral lubricant” after the items reached their manufacturer’s expiration date. A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included the removal and discarding of the relevant items.

3. The nursing home did not ensure residents a safe, clean, comfortable, and homelike environment. Under Section 483.10 of the Federal Code, nursing home residents residents have the right to a safe, clean, comfortable, and homelike environment, which includes clean linens, private closet space, and housekeeping and maintenance services. A February 2020 citation found that Bensonhurst Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare failed to ensure residents this right. The citation states specifically that an inspector observed dirty wheelchairs and air conditioning units, unpatched holes in the wall, torn curtains, scratched furniture, and chipped floor tiles in two resident units. A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included the education of housekeeping and nursing staff.

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Thomas L. Gallivan, PLLC work diligently to protect the rights of nursing home residents.  Please contact us to discuss in the event you have a potential case involving neglect or abuse.

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