Cobble Hill Health Center Cited for Accident Hazards

Cobble Hill Health Center received 22 citations for violations of public health code between 2015 and 2019, according to New York State Department of Health records accessed on January 16, 2020. The Brooklyn nursing home’s citations resulted from a total of five surveys by state inspectors. The deficiencies they describe include the following:

1. The nursing home did not maintain an environment free of accident hazards. Under Section 483.25 of the Federal Code, nursing homes are required to maintain an environment “as free of accident hazards as is possible” and to provide residents with supervision and assistance adequate to prevent them from sustaining accidents. A May 2019 citation found that Cobble Hill Health Center did not ensure the maintenance of an accident hazard-free environment, finding specifically that “eight (8) lighters were observed not locked or stored away leaving it accessible to others”; that the facility did not timely assess whether a resident who smokes required supervision; and that the resident’s smoking area did not provide for adequate supervision of a resident who smokes, and who was observed “putting out [a] lit cigarette on the ground in front of facility entrance and not in ashtray.” According to the citation, the resident was also observed “with a burn hole on his pants.” A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included the revision of facility policy to forbid residents from smoking inside or outside the nursing home.

2. The nursing home did not ensure residents’ right to be free from the unnecessary use of psychotropic medications. Section 483.45 of the Federal Code states in part that “Residents who have not used psychotropic drugs are not given these drugs unless the medication is necessary to treat a specific condition as diagnosed and documented in the clinical record,” and that residents who do use them receive gradual dose reductions as well as behavioral indications to attempt to discontinue their use. A May 2019 citation found that the facility did not ensure a resident’s drug regimen was adequately monitored and managed “to promote or maintain the resident’s highest practicable mental, physical, and psychosocial well being.” The citation states specifically that the resident was prescribed Quetiapine, a psychoactive medication, without any “appropriate and clinical indication for use,” and without a documented assessment of the medication’s effectiveness, risks, and benefits. The citation states that this deficiency had the “potential to cause more than minimal harm.”

3. The nursing home did not abide by food safety standards. Under Section 483.60 of the Federal Code, nursing homes must “Store, prepare, distribute and serve food in accordance with professional standards for food service safety.” A May 2019 citation found that Cobble Hill Health Center did not ensure the handling of food under sanitary conditions. The citation states specifically that one of the facility’s food service workers touched raw food without first putting on gloves; that a food service worker did not put on gloves before “covering a pan of cooked baked chicken with aluminum foil after touching the lid of a garbage”; and that one of the facility’s food service workers conducted lunch meal service in a dining room without wearing a hairnet. The citation describes this “pattern of deficient practice” as having 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.

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