Chapin Home for the Aging received 17 citations for violations of public health laws between 2015 and 2019, according to New York State Department of Health records accessed on December 19, 2019. The Jamaica nursing home’s citations resulted from a total of four inspections by state authorities. The deficiencies they describe include the following:
1. The nursing home did not protect residents from abuse and neglect. Under Section 483.12 of the Federal Code, nursing homes must ensure their residents’ “right to be free from abuse, neglect, misappropriation of resident property, and exploitation.” A June 2019 citation found that Chapin Home for the Aging failed to comply with this section in an instance in which one resident was “observed in his room with his wheelchair leg rest in his hand, raised above” another resident, who was observed in bed “with multiple lacerations and… covered with blood.” The latter resident had lacerations on his scalp and his ear, as well as “excoriations” on his left shoulder and left upper arm. The resident was transferred to the local hospital, where he received 20 medical staples. The citation found that this deficiency on the nursing home’s part resulted in “actual harm.”
2. The nursing home did not adequately prevent and control infection. Section 483.80 of the Federal Code states that nursing homes must “establish and maintain an infection prevention and control program” that ensures a “safe, sanitary and comfortable environment” designed to prevent the development and transmission of diseases and infections. An October 2019 citation found that the nursing home did not ensure proper infection prevention and control practices were followed. An inspector specifically observed residents’ oxygen and nebulizer tubing without proper labeling indicating the dates the tubing was replaced. The facility’s Director of Nursing informed an inspector that “staff will be disciplined for not doing their job” and that relevant staff would be in-serviced about best practices to ensure compliance.
3. The nursing home did not ensure that residents’ drug regimens were maintained free from unnecessary psychotropic drugs. Section 483.45 of the Federal Code requires nursing home facilities to keep residents’ drug regimens free from the unnecessary use of any drugs that affect “brain activities associated with mental processes and behavior,” including anti-psychotics. An October 2019 citation found that the nursing home did not ensure such in an instance in which a resident “received antipsychotic and anti-anxiety medications for over 2 years without an attempt at a Gradual Dose Reduction in the absence of behaviors.” An inspector also found a lack of documentation concerning the behaviors targeted by the medication. The citation states that this contravened facility policy requiring the documentation of the medical rationale for a medication’s use, as well as the medical rationale for why a gradual dose reduction might be contraindicated. This deficiency, according to the citation, had the “potential to cause more than minimal harm.”
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.