Dry Harbor Nursing Home Cited over Pressure Ulcer

DRY Harbor Nursing Home received 25 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 Maspeth nursing home’s citations resulted from a total of three inspections by state surveyors. The violations they describe include the following:

1. The nursing home did not ensure necessary treatment and care of bedsores / pressure ulcers. Section 483.25 of the Federal Code requires nursing homes to ensure that residents with pressure ulcers receive “necessary treatment and services, consistent with professional standards of practice, to promote healing, prevent infection and prevent new ulcers from developing.” A January 2019 citation found that one of DRY Harbor Nursing Home’s Licensed Practical Nurses “did not practice acceptable standards and wound care techniques” for a resident suffering from a stage 3 pressure injury. Among other findings, an inspector observed the LPN removing the resident’s diaper and rubbing the wound site with gauze after running saline over the wound, contravening the best practice of patting areas dry to prevent tissue damage. The inspector also observed the LPN applying “two parallel strip amounts” of medical creams a gauze strip, instead of mixing the creams together. According to the citation, the LPN then put the same diaper back on the resident, later informing the inspector that “using a clean diaper would have been referable in keeping with infection control practices.”

2. The nursing home did not properly store drugs and biologicals. According to Section 483.60 of the Federal Code, nursing homes must “store all drugs and biologicals in locked compartments under proper temperature controls, and permit only authorized personnel to have access to the keys..” A February 2016 citation found that the nursing home did not ensure medications were stored in a locked compartment. An inspector specifically found that “cabinets on two separate medication carts located in the hallways were observed, unattended and unlocked.” A nurse who was in the process of administering resident medications was observed returning to the cart and attempting to lock the cabinet, according to the citation, but this effort was “unsuccessful.” In an interview, the nurse told an inspector that the cart was broken several weeks earlier and never fixed. The citation notes that a broken medication cart was observed on another floor, and that this cabinet contained several controlled medications in a locked box affixed to its bottom. The facility’s Nurse Manager of the floors in question told the inspector that she was not aware of the broken carts and that they would be replaced imminently.

3. The nursing home did not ensure the availability of water. Section 483.70 of the Federal Code requires nursing home facilities to “establish procedures to ensure that water is available to essential areas when there is a loss of normal water supply.” A February 2016 citation found that the nursing home did not ensure it had an adequate quantity of water on the premises in case it experienced “a loss of normal water supply.” An inspector specifically found that the facility’s emergency water supply comprised 24 plastic containers of five-gallon water jugs in a food storage room; a follow up observation found 24 plastic containers of five-gallon jugs in the food storage rooms and 18 containers of five-gallon jugs in a housekeeping storage room, or a total of 42 plastic containers of five-gallon jugs. The citation notes that the facility was required to have 1,080 gallons of water per day on hand, but it only had 460 gallons. In an interview, the facility’s Director of Maintenance and Environmental Services stated that the facility doesn’t have storage space for “a lot of water, and if there is an emergency, he can only go by the word and guarantee from the vendor that they will deliver in time.” The facility undertook a plan of correction to ensure it had an adequate water supply available.

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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