Cortlandt Healthcare: Infection Control Citation, Covid Spread

Cortlandt Healthcare suffered 12 fatalities from Covid-19 as of July 18, 2020, per state records. The nursing home also received 18 citations finding it violated public health code between 2016 and 2020, according to health records accessed on July 20, 2020, including one citation over its infection control practices. The Peekskill nursing home’s citations resulted from a total of two surveys by state inspectors. The violations they describe include the following:

1. The nursing home fell short in its infection prevention practices. Section 483.80 of the Federal Code requires nursing home facilities to create and maintain programs designed to prevent and control infection, and to create a safe and sanitary environment for residents. A March 2017 citation found that Cortlandt Healthcare failed to ensure such. The citation states specifically that the nursing home “did not ensure that it implemented a system of surveillance and investigation to identify possible communicable diseases before they can spread to other persons in the facility for seven residents.” It goes on to state that the facility failed to report “cases of skin infection resembling scabies” to state health authorities. It goes on to describe residents with rash and itching symptoms that led the facility to suspect a scabies infestation. In an interview, the facility’s Director of Nursing said that Cortland Home had “no existing policy and procedure for reporting, investigating, and controlling scabies infestation before they can spread to other persons in the facility.” One of the residents suffering from the symptoms “was reported crying hysterically and stated she can’t take the itching anymore.” A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included the placement of affected residents on isolation precautions and the development of new facility policy.

2. The nursing home did not properly store and label medications. Section 483.45 of the Federal Code requires nursing homes to label drugs and biologicals “in accordance with currently accepted professional principles, and include… the expiration date when applicable.” An August 2018 citation found that Cortlandt Healthcare did not comply with such. The citation states specifically that the facility did not “ensure that medications were discarded and prevent their potential use beyond the expiration” in connection to one of three medication carts, in which an opened vial of a redacted medication “was found in use after the recommended discard date.” In an interview, the facility’s Licensed Practical Nurse in charge of medication administration “did not give any explanation was to why the expired… vial was not discarded after the 28 days.” A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included the discarding of the expired vial.

3. The nursing home did not properly enclose hazardous areas. Section 101 of the Life Safety Code requires nursing homes to enclose hazardous areas with a fire barrier that has a one-hour fire resistance rating or an automatic fire extinguishing system, and to ensure that doors are self-closing or automatic-closing. An August 2018 citation found that Cortlandt Healthcare “did not ensure that the corridor doors to hazardous areas are able to resist the passage of smoke in accordance” with this section. Health authorities specifically observed certain doors “that did not latch upon self-closing and/or lacked a self-closing device,” as well as “an unsealed conduit in the IT closet.” A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included the repair or replacement of one door, the installation of an automatic closure device on another, and the sealing of the opened conduit.

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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