Our Lady of Mercy Life Center Cited for Accidents, Med Errors

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A nursing home in Guilderland, New York has received 10 health and safety code citations in recent years.

Our Lady of Mercy Life Center received 10 citations for violations of public health code between 2017 and 2021, according to New York State Department of Health records accessed on July 30, 2021. The Guilderland 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 adequately protect residents from medication errors. Under Section 483.45 of the Federal Code, nursing homes must ensure residents “are free of any significant medication errors.” A March 2020 citation found that Our Lady of Mercy Life Center failed to ensure such. The citation states specifically that one resident was not provided his blood pressure medication “within the parameters ordered,” going on to describe several instances in which the patient received the medication when their systolic blood pressure was below 140, even though the orders provided for the medication to be held when the resident’s blood pressure was below 140. In an interview, the facility’s Assistant Director of Nursing said the nurse who gave the medication “should have held the medication per order.” In a separate interview, the resident’s physician said the resident should not have received the medication when their blood pressure was below 140. A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included the education of nursing staff.

2. The nursing home did not adequately protect residents from accidents. Section 483.25 of the Federal Code stipulates that nursing homes must ensure residents receive adequate supervision to protect accidents and that resident environments are as free as possible of accident hazards. A December 2017 citation found that Our Lady of Mercy Life Center failed to ensure such. The citation states specifically that the facility did not ensure one resident received puréed foods at mealtime, “resulting in an episode of coughing.” Instead of puréed foods, the citation states, the resident was provided with “whole carrots and a half of turkey,” subsequently “coughing up clear mucous.” According to interviews with facility staff, although the meal ticket on the resident’s tray was correct, “the meal prepared and sent was wrong.” A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included the education of relevant staff.

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One of the New York nursing home’s citations concerned medication errors.

3. The nursing home did not adequately follow food safety protocols. Under Section 483.60 of the Federal Code, nursing homes must “store, prepare, distribute and serve food in accordance with professional standards for food service safety.” An August 2019 citation found that Our Lady of Mercy Life Center failed to ensure such. The citation states specifically that “raw foods were stored above ready-to-eat food” in violation of protocols designed to prevent contamination, and that “floors and equipment were not clean.” The citation goes on to describe raw pork stored in a refrigerator above hard boiled eggs and raw chicken stored over pasteurized eggs. it also describes a can opener, slicer, shelves, drip pans, stove, sinks, cart wheels, and other areas or items that weren’t clean. A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included the education of relevant staff.

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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