Surge Rehabilitation and Nursing Cited for Medication Errors

Surge Rehabilitation and Nursing received 30 citations for violations of public health code between 2016 and 2020, according to New York State Department of Health records accessed on April 15, 2020. The Middle Island 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 accident-prevention measures. Section 483.25 of the Federal Code stipulates that nursing homes must ensure residents receive adequate supervision and assistance devices to prevent accidents. A July 2018 citation found that Surge Rehabilitation and Nursing did not ensure such for one resident. The citation states specifically that the facility did not follow the resident’s dentist’s recommendations regarding the safe use of a denture. In an inspection, according to the citation, the resident was talking to a nursing assistant, and as they spoke, “the upper denture appeared loose and moved with her lip and tongue movement.” The citation goes on to describe a nurse stating that although the resident’s dentures “are supposed to come out at night and [be] replaced in the morning,” the resident does not always allow staff to remove them; another staffer stated that “sometimes the resident has the denture in from the previous night and refuses to use adhesives for dentures.” In an interview, the resident’s dentist stated that “removing the denture at night is a standard precaution,” and that the resident’s smaller-than-conventional denture may pose a remote risk of aspiration.

2. The nursing home’s medication error rate was too high. Section 483.45 of the Federal Code stipulates that nursing home medication error rates may not reach or exceed five percent. A March 2017 citation found that Surge Rehabilitation and Nursing did not ensure such. The citation states specifically that an inspector observed three errors out of 26 opportunities during a medication pass, resulting in a medication error rate of 11.54%. The errors in question involved a Licensed Practical Nurse giving a resident medications from a blister pack that were intended for another resident, whose room was across the hall from the resident who received them, and who had the same first name. A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included the re-education of licensed staff on safe medication administration.

3. The nursing home did not employ adequate measures to prevent infection. Under Section 483.80 of the Federal Code, nursing homes must maintain infection prevention and control programs designed to mitigate the development and transmission of diseases and infections. A September 2018 citation found that Surge Rehabilitation and Nursing did not ensure such for two residents. The citation states specifically that during a dressing change for the first resident’s pressure ulcer, a Licensed Practical Nurse did not wash his hands and don new gloves after opening and touching bottles or opening gauze packets. In the case of the second resident, according to the citation, a nurse disconnected the resident’s saline IV bag line from the main IV medication line without first donning gloves. A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included the in-servicing of relevant staff on infection control and dressing change practices.

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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