Nursing Homes Fined for Abuse Incidents

Road sign with no elder abuse zone written on itThe Newhaven Register in Connecticut reports that three nursing homes are facing fines by the state Public Health Department for several abuse incidents. The incidents range from pressure ulcers, to a failure to give medications, resident on resident violence, and sexual assault.

Resident Suffers from Pressure Ulcer

Masonicare Health Center is one of the facilities that is accused of abuse and neglect. The victim suffered from a stage two pressure ulcer. According to the article:

The resident was admitted to a hospital on Oct. 14, 2017, the day after being discharged from the facility, with a stage 3 pressure ulcer that measured 13 centimeters by 5 centimeters, according to DPH.

When the resident was admitted to the facility on Sept. 18, 2017, “moisture-associated skin damage” was noted, according to the citation, but the injury progressed to a stage 2 pressure ulcer by Oct. 9. An investigation found records were incomplete and failed to show the resident was properly medicated for the wound, DPH said.

One frequent cause of bedsores is when a resident is left in one position for an extended period of time, allowing pressure over a specific area of skin to damage the skin.  Called a “deep tissue injury,” these types of wounds can develop from the inside out.  These types of wounds can develop whether a resident is sitting or lying down.

Pressure to the skin can interrupt blood flow, which over time causes skin to become starved of nutrients and oxygen. Skin that does not receive enough blood flow will begin to break down.  Pressure injuries form either when the skin is under a lot of pressure for a short period of time, or when it is under a moderate amount of pressure for a long time.

These are known as bedsores, pressure ulcers (when open), pressure injuries, and decubitous ulcers (an outdated medical term still in use). You can learn more about these types of injuries here.

Resident on Resident Violence

The Curtis Home St. Elizabeth Center was fined for the brutal attack that left one resident lying in a pool of blood. The article states that the victim was found:

in “a pool of blood all over” and another resident was standing over the resident’s bedside striking the resident, according to DPH. There was blood “all over” the walls, sheets and the resident’s head.The resident was taken to a hospital and treated for numerous head lacerations, including one wound where the skull was visible, DPH said.

A registered nurse was seen leaving the injured resident’s room without providing any care, and a licensed practical nurse admitted to not providing any care, according to information obtained by DPH. The RN supervisor told investigators she didn’t assess the resident’s injuries because she was in shock, and she “saw the resident move so she knew [the resident] was alive,” the citation said.

Staff failed to properly help the resident who had been beaten and should have stayed with the resident, assessed the injuries and applied pressure to the bleeding, DPH said.

This brutal attack by one resident on another is not only frightening but also a sign of the nursing home being unable to provide a safe environment for its residents. It is one of the primary obligations of the nursing facility to provide a safe environment for the people who are under their care.

In this case, the victim was brutally beaten and suffered from a broken nose, many lacerations on the head, and staples. This frightening scene is inexcusable.

Sexual Harassment

In addition tho these incidents, another facility in the area is facing fines because of a sexual abuse case. The article reports that:

RegalCare at Waterbury was fined $1,530 after a resident performed a sexual act in front of another resident on Dec. 25, 2016. The resident who committed the act never touched the other resident. An investigation found the facility failed to keep the resident who saw the act free from sexual abuse, which includes sexual harassment.

As mentioned above, it is the responsibility of the nursing home to keep residents safe from sexual harassment and abuse. If you have questions about sexual assault and harassment, visit our page on sexual abuse here.

Consequences?

Often times nursing homes are monitored by state agencies. They often implement a fining system based on federal guidelines from the Center of Medicare and Medicaid Services. You can access more information on how CMS fines discrepancies here. Fining a nursing home is often an inefficient way to get them to change. They are typically owned by a large corporation and the couple of thousand dollar fines are not going to break their bank.

If someone you know has been a victim of any of these kinds of abuses at a nursing home, I will help you get answers and hold the nursing home accountability for failing to provide a safe environment for your loved one. I will investigate the case and help you. Please feel free to contact me or comment below to discuss your loved one’s situation.

 

You can read the full article here.

Do you have questions about a possible abuse, neglect, stroke, or heart attack case? Contact us now using this confidential form. Or leave a comment below--but remember the comments are public, not confidential.

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