Susquehanna Nursing & Rehabilitation Center: 15 Covid Deaths, 2 Infection Citations

Susquehanna Nursing & Rehabilitation Center suffered 15 deaths from Covid-19 as of June 8, 2020, per state records. The nursing home also received 29 citations for violations of public health code between 2016 and 2020, including two concerning findings of infection prevention code violations, according to health records accessed on June 9, 2020. The Johnson City nursing home’s citations resulted from a total of five surveys by state inspectors. The violations they describe include the following:

1. The nursing home did not adequately implement and infection prevention and control program. Section 483.80 of the Federal Code stipulates that nursing homes must establish and maintain an IPCP that is “designed to provide a safe, sanitary and comfortable environment” and to help stave off the development of communicable infections and diseases. A July 2018 citation found that Susquehanna Nursing & Rehabilitation Center did not ensure such for two residents. The citation states specifically that there were no signs on the residents’ doors indicating that they were on contact precautions, and that staff were observed providing care to the rooms in question without wearing appropriate personal protective equipment or conducting proper hand hygiene. In an interview, a Registered Nurse Unit Manager stated that she did not know one of the residents had no sign on his door, and that anyone entering the room was expected to don PPE. A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included the re-education of direct care staff.

2. The nursing home received an earlier infection for an alleged violation of Section 483.80 in a February 2017 citation. In this instance an inspector found that a resident had been “placed on and removed from isolation precautions without a physician’s order”; that a resident was admitted to the nursing home without their room being thoroughly cleaned before admission; that a Certified Nursing Aide was observed improperly wearing an influenza mask; that a glucometer shared by three residents was not disinfected between uses; and that a resident who had an infected that necessitated isolation precautions was not timely placed on such. The citation states that these deficiencies had the “potential to cause more than minimal harm.”

3. The nursing home did not adequately treat and care for residents’ pressure sores / bedsores. Section 483.25 of the Federal Code requires nursing homes to provide residents with pressure ulcers the necessary treatment and services to promote healing and prevent infection. A February 2017 citation found that Susquehanna Nursing & Rehabilitation Center did not ensure such. The citation states specifically that a resident developed a pressure ulcer on their right heel but that it was “not assessed timely.”  In an interview, the facility’s wound care nurse practitioner said that she had seen it for the first time on the morning of the survey, and that “she would have been tracking [it] weekly if she had known it was there.”

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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