Articles Posted in Infection

The Grove at Valhalla Rehabilitation and Nursing Center received 27 citations for violations of public health laws between 2015 and 2019, according to New York State Department of Health records accessed on November 29, 2019. The Valhalla nursing home’s citations resulted from a total of four inspections by state surveyors. The deficiencies they describe include the following:

1. The nursing home did not adequately implement an infection prevent and control system. Under Section 483.80 of the Federal Code, nursing home facilities must create and maintain infection prevention and control protocols that are “designed to provide a safe, sanitary and comfortable environment and to help prevent the development and transmission of communicable diseases and infections.” An August 2018 citation found that the facility did not properly ensure its staff undertook adequate hand hygiene measures “to prevent cross contamination and the spread of infection” in connection to one resident. The citation states specifically that during a wound observation of the resident, who was at risk of developing a pressure ulcer, an inspector observed a Licensed Practical Nurse “his bare hands to reposition the resident in bed, in addition to pulling the bedside curtain to maintain privacy.” Then, without sanitizing his hands, the nurse in question put on a pair of of gloves with which he opened a saline solution bottle, poured the solution on gauze pads, and cleaned the resident’s wound. According to the citation, the nurse continued wearing “the soiled gloves” as he went on to perform several other activities that included touching the wound. The citation states that this conduct had the “potential to cause more than minimal harm.”

2. The nursing home did not properly implement its abuse and neglect investigation and reporting policies. Section 483.12 of the Federal Code requires nursing homes to develop and implement policies and procedures that prohibit and prevent abuse and neglect, and that provide for the investigation of abuse and neglect allegations. A November 2018 citation found that the nursing home failed to thoroughly investigate a resident’s unwitnessed fall, and to timely report the incident to state authorities in order to rule out the possibility of abuse, neglect, or mistreatment. The citation states further that the nursing home failed to report and investigate a second fall sustained by the resident. In response to the citation, the nursing home initiated an investigation into one of the incidents, and stated its intention to report the incident and the investigation’s results to state health authorities.

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Beth Abraham Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing received 30 citations for violations of public health laws between 2015 and 2019, according to New York State Department of Health records accessed on November 14, 2019. The Bronx nursing home’s citations resulted from a total of five inspections by state surveyors. The violations they describe include the following:

1. The nursing home did not properly ensure the prevention and control of infection. Under Section 483.80 of the Federal Code, nursing home facilities “must establish and maintain an infection prevention and control program designed to provide a safe, sanitary and comfortable environment and to help prevent the development and transmission of communicable diseases and infections.” During a May 2019 inspection, a surveyor observed a Licensed Practical Nurse “performing blood pressure monitoring for 3 residents without cleaning the blood pressure cuff between residents”; another LPN administering eye drop medication without maintaining “proper hand hygiene”; and a third LPN failing to maintain proper hand hygiene while completing a wound care observation.

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Fieldston Lodge Care Center received 38 citations for violations of public health laws between 2015 and 2019, according to New York State Department of Health records accessed on November 14, 2019. That figure is six greater than the statewide average of 32 citations. The Bronx nursing home’s citations resulted from a total of five inspections by state authorities. The violations they describe include the following:

1. The nursing home did not take adequate measures to prevent and control infection. Section 483.80 of the Federal Code stipulates that nursing home facilities “must establish and maintain an infection prevention and control program… to help prevent the development and transmission of communicable diseases and infections.” A July 2019 citation found that Fieldston Lodge Care Center failed to properly implement its disease prevention guidelines by neglecting to properly clean poles for hanging gastrostomy tube feeding, and by allowing oxygen tubing to run along the floor in spite of protocol requiring that it be maintained off the floor. A state inspector found that this lapse had the “potential to cause more than minimal harm.”

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The Citadel Rehab and Nursing Center at Kingsbridge received 19 citations for violations of public health laws between 2015 and 2019, according to New York State Department of Health records accessed on November 14, 2019. Those citations include two that were found to cause immediate jeopardy to resident health, and one that authorities say reflected “a severe, systemic deficiency.” The Bronx nursing home’s citations resulted from a total of five inspections by state authorities. The violations they describe include the following:

1. The nursing home did not ensure it provided an environment free of accident hazards. Under Section 483.25 of the Federal Code, nursing home facilities are required to provide residents with an environment as free as possible from accident hazards, and with proper supervision and assistive devices to prevent accidents. An August 2016 citation states that an inspector observed more than 50 beds with siderails whose measurements “exceeded the FDA recommendation that spaces between the bed siderail bars should be no larger than 4 3/4 inches.” While the Department of Health inspector found that this deficiency had so far not resulted in actual harm, it had “the potential for more than minimal harm that was immediate jeopardy and substandard quality of care.”

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The New York Health Department confirmed an antibiotic-resistant ‘superbug’ was found at Palm Gardens Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Brooklyn. State health officials say that Candida auris, a highly contagious, drug-resistant fungus infected 38 patients at the Brooklyn nursing home. Since arriving in the United States in 2015, 800 Americans have been diagnosed with C. auris. According to public health officials, the victims of this contagious disease are typically elderly and more than half die from the disease within 90 days.

Public health officials believe that Maria Davila may have brought the ‘super bug’ into the nursing home. After arriving at the nursing home several years ago, Davila suffered from recurrent bacterial infections – which were treated with heavy doses of powerful antibiotics. During those trips in-and-out of the hospital, bacteria that responded to the medication was eradicated. C. Auris, however, is resistant to antibiotics and therefore followed Davila back to the nursing home. The contagious disease then spread to 38 other residents.

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A Virginia nursing home is being sued after ignoring one of their former resident’s growing infection and bedsores. The family of the former patient alleges the nursing home’s neglect of Casey Lamont was so severe that it caused his death after just six months at the long-term care facility. The lawsuit seeks damages related to the medical costs incurred by the nursing home’s alleged negligence and Lamont’s pain and suffering.

Lamont was admitted to the nursing home, Envoy of Williamsburg, in November 2013. According to the medical history provided to the nursing home, Lamont would be susceptible to bedsores and pressures and therefore, the nursing home should take preventative measures, which generally include moving the patient around every few hours. Unfortunately, the nursing home appears to have neglected their responsibility to care for Lamont and within two months he developed “life-threatening bedsores,” according to The Virginia Gazette.

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The federal government fined a New Jersey nursing home for $600k after a deadly adenovirus outbreak killed 11 children and infected 37 other residents, according to NJ.com. The nursing home, Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation, is a long-term care facility in northern New Jersey with senior citizens and children who require around-the-clock care and monitoring. According to federal regulators, insufficient safety protocols led to the deadly outbreak and permitted its rapid spread across the assisted living facility.

In a scathing report released last week, the federal government cited numerous safety violations that enabled the rapid spread of the virus. The protocols at the retirement home were so insufficient that medical staff did not even realize an outbreak was occurring until the fourth child died. The federal report details violations including a lack of infection control plan, a “void of leadership,” and an off-site medical director who was so disengaged she only checked on the facility weekly.

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A study released by the University of Illinois at Chicago reports that for-profit nursing homes provide lower-quality care to their elderly residents. This study provides further confirmation that the for-profit nursing home industry, which is still growing across the country, is sacrificing adequate care for vulnerable senior citizens in the pursuit of ever-growing profits. Once again, elder care advocates are sounding the alarm about the substandard quality of care and the need for greater government oversight while President Trump’s administration continues to deregulate the industry.

The University of Illinois at Chicago study included more than 1,100 senior citizens living at five different Chicago hospitals between 2007 and 2011. The results showed a stark difference in the quality of life and health of elderly residents depending on whether their nursing home operated as a non-profit or as a profit-seeking business. Overall, residents at for-profit nursing homes were twice as likely to have health problems related to poor or neglectful care. Among other maladies, for-profit residents were more likely to suffer from severe dehydration, develop stage 3 and stage 4 pressure ulcers – the most serious and commonly preventable type of pressure ulcer, or bed sore. Further, the study concluded that broken catheters and dislodged feeding tubes were more common in for-profit nursing homes and their patients were less likely to receive satisfactory care for their chronic health conditions.

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A deadly bloodstream infection, sepsis continues to plague nursing homes in New York and throughout the country. Despite strict federal standards meant to prevent infections and harm to patients, the number of sepsis infections originating in nursing homes continues to increase each year. In a study conducted by Definitive Healthcare, at least 25,000 senior citizens die from sepsis infections received at nursing homes across the country each year. Give the enormous and unnecessary loss of life, nursing home advocates and government regulators are pushing for stricter standards and greater accountability for nursing homes.

An article by Legal Reader recounts the sad and unfortunately common story of one nursing home resident who passed away from sepsis. According to the article, the elderly man’s daughter, Shana Dorsey, found a “purple wound” on her father only a few weeks before he passed away in 2014. Medical staff at the nursing home told Dorsey the wound was a pressure ulcer or bed sore and not serious. Unfortunately, the pressure ulcer was severe and eventually led to the sepsis infection that killed her father. Dorsey then joined the thousands of other families across the country by filing suit against the nursing home because their loved one died of a preventable sepsis infection.

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resident-left-in-empty-hallOver the previous four years, the United Hebrew Geriatric Center in Westchester County received 22 citations for violating New York law on nursing home safety. The violations were all categorized as “moderately severe”, according to the New York Department of Health.

While the quality of care received by patients at the facility was higher in some areas of treatment compared to the rest of New York state, the facility scored below the state average in the number of residents who experienced a major fall (2.3 percent) and the percent of residents whose ability to move independently worsened during their long-term stay (14.4 percent). Further, according to the New York State Department of Health, 2.1 percent of nursing home residents received a diagnosis of pressure ulcers, or bed sores – a largely preventable type of harm.

According to the state’s inspectors, the following laws and regulations were violated by the United Hebrew Geriatric Center in the last several years: Continue reading

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