Townhouse Center for Rehabilitation & Nursing Cited for Neglect, Medication Errors

Townhouse Center for Rehabilitation & Nursing received 29 citations for violations of public health code between 2016 and 2020, according to New York State Department of Health records accessed on March 20, 2020. The facility has also received four fines: a 2019 fine of $10,000 in connection to findings in a 2019 inspection that it violated unspecified health code provisions; a 2018 fine of $16,000 in connection to findings in a 2018 inspection that it violated unspecified health code provisions; a 2017 fine of $2,000 in connection to findings in a 2017 inspection that it violated health code provisions regarding the use of physical restraints; and a 2017 fine of $4,000 in connection to findings in a 2016 inspection that it violated health code provisions regarding quality of care and administrative practices. The Uniondale nursing home’s citations resulted from a total of ten surveys by state inspectors. The deficiencies they describe include the following:

1. The nursing home did not ensure residents were protected from neglect. Section 483.12 of the Federal Code guarantees nursing home residents the right to “be free from… neglect.” An August 2018 citation found that Townhouse Center for Rehabilitation & Nursing did not ensure such for one resident. The citation describes specifically an instance in which the facility’s security guard on duty “left his post unattended,” after which a resident eloped. The resident was later found a block away from the nursing home and returned to it ‘without any injury.” A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included the termination of the security guard in question.

2. The nursing home did not adequately protect residents from medication errors. Section 483.45 of the Federal Code stipulates that nursing homes must ensure residents are kept “free of any significant medication errors.” A January 2019 citation found that Townhouse Center for Rehabilitation & Nursing did not ensure such for one resident. The citation states specifically that the facility administered an opioid to the resident without a prescribed order. The resident was subsequently “transferred and admitted to the hospital” with a redacted condition, which the citation states resulted in “actual harm” to the resident. A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included the termination of “the nurse responsible for the medication error.”

3. The nursing home did not ensure proper respiratory care. Section 483.25 of the Federal Code requires nursing homes to ensure that residents’ care is supervised by a physician. A February 2018 citation found that Townhouse Center for Rehabilitation & Nursing did not have effective systems to ensure the communication and implementation of adequate respiratory support to a resident. the citation states specifically that the resident in question “was being weaned from mechanical ventilation to use of Tracheolife (a respiratory support system using a heat moisture exchanger) and an oxygen concentrator.” According to the citation, the resident had a “known, recent history of not tolerating the weaning process,” and as such the facility’s pulmonologist had recommended the discontinuation of the weaning process and the resident’s placement back on the ventilator. The citation states that this recommendation “was not ordered, communicated to, or carried out by, direct staff,” and as such the resident stayed on Tracheolife. The citation goes on to state that due to a “lack of an effective system to assign resident care” after a respiratory therapist’s shift, there was a failure to monitor the resident’s respiratory status, nor any protocol to monitor their oxygen saturation or to alert staff when the resident was not on their ventilator. The citation states that the resident “was found unresponsive without a pulse or respirations,” and later died in the hospital. A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included educational counseling of responsible 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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