Palatine Nursing Home Cited for Medication Errors, Infection Control

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A nursing home in Palatine Bridge, New York has received citations for medication errors and infection control.

Palatine Nursing Home has received 24 citations for violations of public health code between 2017 and 2021, according to New York State Department of Health records accessed on May 20, 2021. The facility also received a fine of $12,000 in 2021 in connection to findings of rule violations. The Palatine Bridge nursing home’s citations resulted from a total of three surveys by state inspectors. The deficiencies they describe include the following:

1. The nursing home did not adequately protect residents from accidents. Section 483.25 of the Federal Code stipulates that nursing homes must provide residents with adequate supervision to prevent accidents and maintain resident environments as free as possible of accident hazards. An April 2019 citation found that Palatine Nursing Home failed to ensure such. The citation states specifically that a resident did not receive “the recommended swallowing precautions, potentially increasing his risk of aspiration pneumonia.” It goes on to describe an observation in which a nurse was feeding the resident lunch but did not have the resident’s swallowing precaution cue card on the resident’s food tray. In an interview, the nurse said that “the resident did not have a cue card with instructions for feeding” and that she knew how to feed the resident. In a separate interview, the facility’s Speech Language Pathologist said the resident “should have had a cue card on his tray and was unaware it was missing.” A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included the education of necessary staff.

2. The nursing home did not adequately prevent medication errors. Section 483.45 of the Federal Code requires nursing homes to keep residents free from “significant medication errors.” An April 2019 citation found that Palatine Nursing Home failed to ensure such. The citation states specifically that the nursing home did not ensure one resident’s medication orders “included an active sliding scale orders for insulin use.” In an interview, one of the facility’s Licensed Practical Nurses said that she “has given insulin coverage before and was not aware there was no order for the sliding scale because she was not the nurse who checked the orders.” A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included the discontinuation of the order for the resident and the education of nursing staff.

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The nursing home has also received a $12,000 fine.

3. The nursing home did not implement adequate infection control measures. Under Section 483.80 of the Federal Code, nursing homes are required to create and maintain an infection prevention and control program. An April 2019 citation found that Palatine Nursing Home failed to ensure such. The citation states specifically that the nursing home did not ensure the maintenance of standard precautions during a dressing change to a resident’s right heel pressure ulcer. It goes on to describe a Licensed Practical Nurse who placed  supplies on a table without first cleansing the table, donning gloves without washing her hands, changing gloves without washing her hands, and setting the resident’s foot directly down on a pillow without using a barrier. In an interview, the LPN said “she was very nervous having a surveyor watch her do the dressing change.” A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included the education of nursing staff on nursing practices during dressing changes.

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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