Van Duyn Center Cited for Abuse, Medication Errors

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Van Duyn Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing in Syracuse has received a total of 89 citations for being in violation of public health and safety codes and has been previously placed on a list that could make this nursing home one of the worst facilities.

Van Duyn Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing has received 89 citations for violations of public health and safety code between 2017 and 2021, according to New York State Department of Health records accessed on October 15, 2021. The Syracuse nursing home’s citations resulted from a total of 20 surveys by state inspectors. The most recent inspection—on June 18th, 2021—described the following deficiencies:

1. The nursing home did not adequately prevent accidents. Under Section 483.25 of the Federal Code, nursing homes must ensure residents receive an environment as free as possible of accident hazards. A June 2021 citation found that Van Duyn Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing failed to ensure such. The citation states specifically that the facility lacked a plan to evacuate a resident who weighed around 700 pounds and “was not mobile” from their room during an emergency. As the citation describes, the resident “required assistance with activities of daily living” and their care plan documented the need of a mechanical lift. In an interview, staff members said the resident’s bed would not fit through their room’s doorway and that they were “not trained in bariatric evacuation.” Both a certified nursing aide and a licensed practical nurse stated that they had not been trained in bariatric evacuation and were not sure how to evacuate the resident. In an interview, the facility’s Director of Nursing said they were not certain whether there was an evacuation plan for bariatric residents. A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included the development of an evacuation plan for the resident, the training of staff, and the purchase of necessary equipment.

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Inspectors found that the nursing home failed to prevent accidents and did not have the proper training to care for and safely evacuate a patient weighing around 700lbs, they were cited for staff failing to properly follow safety guidelines by not wearing a face covering at all times over their mouth and their nose, and they had also failed at keeping the nursing home free of rodents, along with other pests and bugs.

2. The nursing home did not employ adequate measures to prevent infection. Section 483.80 of the Federal Code stipulates that nursing homes must create and maintain an infection prevention and control program to help protect residents from disease. A June 2021 citation found that Van Duyn Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing failed to ensure such. The citation specifically describes the facility’s failure to employ adequate Covid-prevention practices. In one instance, according to the citation, “3 staff members were observed wearing surgical masks that did not cover their nose and a staff member was observed not wearing a mask while drinking coffee in the hallway.” This conduct contravened state and federal guidance regarding the use of face masks. In an interview, the facility’s registered nurse infection preventionist said that face masks should be worn when staffers enter the building and “should remain over the nose to be worn appropriately.” The nurse also said that “staff should not be drinking beverages in the hallway or around residents.” A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included the implementation of a regular PPE audit.

3. The nursing home failed to control pests. Under Section 483.90 of the Federal Code, nursing homes are required to “Maintain an effective pest control program so that the facility is free of pests and rodents.” A June 2021 citation found that Van Duyn Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing failed to ensure such. The citation specifically describes cockroaches observed in the facility’s main kitchen as well as two units’ kitchenettes. In one instances an inspector observed three live cockroaches atop some boxes, and upon moving the boxes observed “over 20 live cockroaches scattered on the floor.”  A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included the treatment of the relevant areas by a pest control company.

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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