The Phoenix Rehabilitation and Nursing Center Cited for Infection

The Phoenix Rehabilitation and Nursing Center suffered 17 fatalities from Covid-19 as of June 23, 2020, per state records. The nursing home also received 32 citations finding it violated public health code between 2016 and 2020, according to health records accessed on June 24, 2020. One of those citations concerned infection prevention and control deficiencies. The facility has also received a 2010 fine of $4,000 in connection to findings in a 2009 inspection that it violated health code provisions regarding accidents and administrative practices. The Brooklyn nursing home’s citations resulted from a total of 5 surveys by state inspectors. The violations they describe include the following:

1. The nursing home did not adequately implement infection prevention and control protocols. Under Section 483.80 of the Federal Code, nursing homes must create and maintain infection prevention and control programs. An October 2019 citation found that The Phoenix Rehabilitation and Nursing Center did not ensure such. The citation states specifically that employees did not wear proper personal protective equipment when they entered the room of a resident on contact precautions, and that the facility’s Infection Prevention and Control Program had not been reviewed and/or revised since a redacted year. The citation goes on to describe a Licensed Practical Nurse entering the room of a resident on contact precautions with only a mask over her nose and mouth, and no gown. She was observed checking a resident’s identification band and applying a cuff to the resident’s arm “without the use” of gloves she was holding in one of her hands, which she through away after checking the resident’s blood pressure. The resident was observed coughing and covering her mouth, according to the citation, but “was not encouraged or reminded to wash her hands after coughing into her hand.” The resident was observed wiping her nose with a tissue, placing it on a table, and then extending her fingers for a fingerstick test, but the LPN “did not encourage the resident to wash her hands after wiping her nose and before doing the fingerstick test,” according to the citation. A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included the educational counseling of relevant staff.

2. The nursing home did not follow food safety standards. Section 483.60 of the Federal Code stipulates that nursing homes must store and prepare food “in accordance with professional standards for food service safety.” An October 2019 citation found that The Phoenix Rehabilitation and Nursing Center did not ensure such. The citation states specifically that internal temperatures of cold foods were not maintained at professional standards. An observer noted various sandwiches at temperatures above the standard maximum temperature of 41 degrees Fahrenheit, the citation states. In an interview, the facility’s Food Service Director said that “the sandwiches should be stored in the 2 inch pan shingles in the refrigerator.” A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included the discarding of the offending sandwiches and the replacement of the sandwich refrigerator.

3. The nursing home did not ensure adequate garbage disposal procedures. Section 483.35 of the Federal Code stipulates that nursing home facilities “must dispose of garbage and refuse properly.” A September 2016 citation found that The Phoenix Rehabilitation and Nursing Center did not ensure such. The citation states specifically that during a tour of the facility’s garbage disposal area, an inspector observed the compactor door “wide open,” with “flies… hovering around the open area” and “garbage in plastic bags… seen inside the compactor.” In a second observation two days later, the compactor was again observed “wide open” with exposed garbage bags, puddles liquid “leaking from the compactor drainage area… emitting a foul odor” and insects hovering around the area in question. The citation notes that facility policy documents for the compactor door to be closed “at all times” when waste is not being placed into it.

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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