Westchester Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing Cited for Fall, Ulcer

Westchester Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing received 40 citations for violations of public health laws between 2015 and 2019, according to New York State Department of Health records accessed on November 14, 2019. That figure is eight greater than the statewide average of 32. The Mount Vernon nursing home’s citations resulted from a total of three inspections by state surveyors. The violations they describe include the following:

1. The nursing home did not meet quality of care standards. Section 483.25 of the Federal Code states that nursing homes must ensure that residents “receive treatment and care in accordance with professional standards of practice” and based on comprehensive assessments of each individual. According to a July 17, 2019 inspection, the nursing home did not ensure proper treatment and care for three residents. An inspector found that one resident did not receive “timely treatment and care for complaints of pain” resulting from their fall from a lift; another did not receive timely treatment and care for a bedsore/pressure ulcer on their left heel; and a third was not provided prompt medication, per a physician’s orders, for their “critically elevated potassium levels.” The citation describes these failures as resulting in the “potential to cause more than minimal harm” to residents.

2. The nursing home did not provide an environment free of accident hazards. Under Section 483.25 of the Federal Code, nursing home facilities must provide an environment as free as possible from accident hazards, with adequate supervision and assistive devices to prevent accidents. A July 17, 2019 inspection found that the nursing home “did not implement effective monitoring procedures to ensure the resident assistive equipment remain free from a repeat accident hazard.” Specifically, an inspector found that the facility did not have consistent protocols in place to test and track Hoyer lift pads after they go through the laundry. As such, a resident sustained an injury after falling from her Hoyer lift, with a report noting that the accident “was due to a single strap, attached to the metal hook of the Hoyer lift, which ripped,” resulting in the resident’s fall. A subsequent examination by the state inspector found that the pad was not tested for strength after it was washed and dried.

3. The nursing home did not meet pharmaceutical services requirements. Section 483.45 of the Federal Code states that nursing home facilities must “must provide routine and emergency drugs and biologicals to its residents.” A July 17, 2019 inspection found that the nursing home failed to ensure the availability of medications that met the needs of each resident. An inspector specifically found that two doses of a medication used to lower potassium levels were not provided to a resident “for eleven hours after it was first ordered by the physician which put the resident at risk for complications.” A physician told an inspector that he was not informed that the medication was unavailable, and had he known, “he would have sent her to the emergency room for evaluation” because of her elevated potassium levels.

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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