Humboldt House Rehabilitation and Nursing Center: Neglect, Infection Control Citations

row of walkers

A row of walkers in a nursing home.

Humboldt House Rehabilitation and Nursing Center received 61 citations for violations of public health code between 2017 and 2021, according to New York State Department of Health records accessed on February 19, 2021. The facility has also received enforcement actions: a 2020 fine of $2,000 in connection to findings it violated Covid-19 testing regulations; a 2020 fine of $50,000 in connection to findings of health code violations; a 2018 fine of $10,000 in connection to findings of unspecified health code violations; and a 2017 fine of $2,000 in connection to findings it violated health code provisions regarding quality of care. The Buffalo nursing home’s citations resulted from a total of 11 surveys by state inspectors. The deficiencies they describe include the following:

1. The nursing home did not protect residents from neglect. Section 483.12 of the Federal Code ensures nursing home residents “the right to be free from abuse, neglect, misappropriation of resident property, and exploitation.” A September 2019 citation found that Humboldt House Rehabilitation and Nursing Center failed to ensure such. The citation states specifically that for a resident with a suspected fracture, the nursing home failed to implement a physician’s orders, the substance of which are redacted. The citation goes on to state that the facility did not apply “an immobilizer/sling and left wrist brace… to immobilize the resident’s left upper extremity (LUE) as ordered.” A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included the transfer of the resident to the emergency room to rule out a fracture.

2. The nursing home did not implement adequate accident-prevention measures. Section 483.25 of the Federal Code requires nursing homes to provide residents with an environment that “remains as free of accident hazards as is possible,” and where residents receive adequate supervision to prevent accidents. A September 2019 citation found that Humboldt House Rehabilitation and Nursing Center failed to ensure such. The citation states specifically that three resident units “had issues with water temperatures that exceeded 120 degrees Fahrenheit,” affecting six residents. The citation states that this deficiency had the “potential to cause more than minimal harm.” A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included the correction of water temperatures in the affected areas.

3. The nursing home did not properly implement measures to prevent and control infection. Section 483.80 of the Federal Code stipulates that nursing homes must “establish and maintain an infection prevention and control program” in order to provide residents with a “safe, sanitary and comfortable environment.” An April 2020 citation found that Humboldt House Rehabilitation and Nursing Center failed to ensure such. The citation states specifically that the facility did not establish and maintain procedures adequate to prevent the transmission of Covid-19. It goes on to state specifically that facility employees “entered and exited” Covid-19 patients’ rooms and did not remove their gowns or gloves after exiting, nor conduct appropriate hand hygiene. The citation states additionally that Certified Nursing Assistants at the facility were “unable to identify residents that were on Contact and Droplet Precautions for COVID-19.” The citation states that these failures posed “Immediate jeopardy to resident health or safety.”

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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