Elderwood at Hamburg: 26 COVID-19 deaths; Infection, Accident Citations

Elderwood at Hamburg suffered 26 confirmed COVID-19 deaths as of January 17, 2021, according to state records. The facility has also received 36 citations for violations of public health code between 2016 and 2020, according to New York State Department of Health records accessed on January 17, 2020. The Hamburg nursing home’s citations resulted from a total of four surveys by state inspectors. The deficiencies they describe include the following:

1. The nursing home did not employ adequate measures to prevent and control infection. Section 483.80 of the Federal Code stipulates that nursing homes must create 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.” A September 2020 citation found that Elderwood at Hamburg failed to ensure such. The citation states specifically  that the facility failed to maintain a program “to ensure the health and safety of residents to help prevent the transmission of COVID-19.” It goes on to state that the nursing home failed to maintain social distancing on two resident care units. A surveyor observed residents “sitting side by side in wheelchairs less than 6 feet apart across from the Unit 2 Nurses Station,” with face masks hanging on the back of their wheelchairs. When a Registered Nurse walked past the residents, the citation states, she “made no attempt to socially distance the residents six feet apart.” A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included Covid-19 testing for the residents in question, who were found to be negative.

2. The nursing home did not protect residents from accidents. Section 483.25 of the Federal Code requires nursing homes to provide residents with adequate supervision to prevent accidents. An October 2019 citation found that Elderwood at Hamburg failed to ensure such. The citation states specifically that the facility “did not provide fluid in the consistency ordered by the Physician” for two residents. It goes on to state that they were served soup at an incorrect consistency. A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included the placement of one of the residents on aspiration precautions and the re-education of relevant staff.

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The nursing home has been cited for medication errors and accident hazards, among other health code violations.

3. The nursing home did not adequately prevent medication errors. Section 483.45 of the Federal Code stipulates that nursing homes must maintain medication error rates below five percent. An April 2019 citation found that Elderwood at Hamburg failed to ensure such. The citation states specifically that two observed errors in 27 observed opportunities resulted in a medication error rate of 7.41%. The errors in question involved medications being administered in contravention of the physician’s orders. A pan of correction undertaken by the facility included the re-education of a Registered Nurse.

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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