Wyoming County Community Hospital Cited for Infection, Accidents

Wyoming County Community Hospital Skilled Nursing Facility has received 40 citations for violations of public health code between 2016 and 2020, according to New York State Department of Health records accessed on August 14, 2020. The facility has also received a total of $16,000 in fines in connection to findings that it violated health code provisions concerning accidents, quality of care, and administrative practices. The Warsaw nursing home’s citations resulted from a total of three surveys by state inspectors. The deficiencies they describe include the following:

1. The nursing home did not adequately prevent and control infection. Per Section 483.80 of the Federal Code, nursing home facilities must create and uphold an infection prevention and control program so as to help prevent the transmission of disease and infection. A February 2019 citation found that Wyoming County Community Hospital did not ensure such. The citation states specifically that the facility did not care for a resident’s pressure ulcer “using appropriate infection control technique.” It goes on to describe a nurse packing the resident’s wound with gauze when “the gauze fell out of the wounds and onto the bed.” The nurse proceeded to pick up the gauze and put it back in the wounds, then remove her soiled gloves and don clean ones. “While the LPN was trying to apply the resident’s mesh underwear the gauze pads fell out onto the bed again,” the citation states, after which the nurse picked them up and put them back in the wounds, then after the procedure removed her gloves and washed her hands. In an interview, the facility’s Registered Nurse Unit Coordinator said that “staff should wash their hands between each treatment,” and that “if the packings fall out of the wound, she would expect the nurse to start the treatment again.” In another interview, the facility’s infection prevention nurse “said that the nurses should perform hand hygiene before starting a dressing change and after removing the soiled dressings.”

2. A July 2016 citation also found that Wyoming County Community Hospital did not adequately maintain an infection control program. The citation specifically describes two resident units that “had issues involving the lack of proper transportation of soiled linens.” It goes on to describe an observation of a shower unit in which there were resident clothes, an afghan, towels, and soiled washcloths on the wet floor. According to the citation, a Certified Nursing Assistant carried the soiled linens out of the room, and they were observed making contact with her personal clothing as she “proceeded to walk down the hall to the soiled utility room and discarded the soiled items in the linen hampers.” In an interview, the facility’s Registered Nurse Educator said that “staff are taught to wear gloves and carry soiled linens away from their body and are supposed to observe universal precautions.”

3. The nursing home did not take adequate steps to prevent accidents. Under Section 483.25 of the Federal Code, nursing homes must ensure resident environments are kept “as free of accident hazards as is possible.” A July 2016 citation found that Wyoming County Community Hospital failed to ensure such for two resident units. The citation specifically describes “an issue involving missing safety stops on sliding windows that allowed the windows to open fully and there was no ongoing process in place to identify accident hazards relating to windows in the skilled nursing facility.” The citation states that this issue put residents in “immediate jeopardy.” A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included the securing of the affected windows and a full facility audit to ensure that every window complied with safety code.

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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