Long Island State Veterans Home: 66 Covid Fatalities, Citations

Long Island State Veterans Home suffered 66 fatalities from Covid-19 as of July 18, 2020, per state records. The nursing home also received 10 citations finding it violated public health code between 2016 and 2020, according to health records accessed on July 20, 2020. The Stonybrook 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 did not take adequate steps to prevent accidents. Section 483.25 of the Federal Code stipulates that nursing homes must ensure resident environments remain as free from accident hazards as is possible, and that residents receive adequate supervision to prevent accidents. An August 2016 citation found that Long Island State Veterans Home failed to ensure such for one resident. The citation specifically describes a resident who “was observed during a meal being fed by a family member using unsafe techniques.” It goes on to state that the resident was “seated with his head slightly extended,” while the family member was standing over the resident “Forcing his hands down on the table with her left hand while feeding the resident with a spoon.” In an interview, the facility’s Charge Nurse Registered Nurse told a surveyor that the family member “does feed the resident for lunch and dinner three times a week.” In a separate interview, the family member said “she holds his hands down as a distraction so he will eat the food off the spoon.” A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included the education of the family member regarding safe feeding practices.

2. The nursing home did not ensure the reporting of medication irregularities. Section 483.45 of the Federal Code provides for the regular review of resident drug regimens by a licensed pharmacist, and requires the pharmacist to report any irregularities to the resident’s attending physician. A March 2019 citation found that Long Island State Veterans Home did not ensure such. The citation states specifically that a resident received 2.5 milligrams of a redacted medication every eight hours when necessary for 14 days, “without supporting documentation for the use.” The citation additionally states that there was “no documented evidence the Pharmacy Consultant” reported the irregularity to the resident’s physician. The citation states that this deficiency had the “potential to cause more than minimal harm.”

3. The nursing home did not keep residents free from the use of unnecessary medications. Section 483.45 of the Federal Code states that nursing home facilities must ensure that residents who have not used psychotropic drugs are not unnecessarily prescribed such, and that residents who use them receive gradual dose reductions and behavioral interventions in an effort to discontinue them. A March 2019 citation found that Long Island State Veterans Home failed to protect two residents from the use of unnecessary psychotropic medications. In one case, a resident was administered an antipsychotic medication without documented evidence that an evaluation was completed or supportive documentation for its use. In the second case, a resident received an antipsychotic medication without a documented psychiatric diagnosis. The citation states that these deficiencies had 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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