October 3, 2011

Wallingford Rehabilitation Center, Two Nursing Homes Fined

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The Gaylord Farms Rehabilitation Center of Wallingford has been cited by the state Department of Public Health for an incident in which a patient with a traumatic brain injury took the facility’s van keys, drove off and died in a crash.

The DPH fined the center $510 for failing to properly secure the keys and prevent the patient from leaving the Traurig House facility on July 16.  The patient had been admitted to the center three days earlier with a traumatic brain injury following a motor vehicle accident.

The DPH report says the patient had expressed a desire to go home to see her infant and was seen sitting on the patio with a suitcase. She found the facility’s van keys in an unlocked drawer and drove off.  A staff member attempted to stop her, but could not.

After the incident, Gaylord administrators ordered that all facility and staff motor vehicle keys be locked in a secure location.

In addition to Gaylord, two nursing homes also face fines for care lapses.

Connecticut Health of Southport was fined $1,125 for failing to administer medication to a patient with pneumonia and for not alerting staff and visitors to take precautions with patients who had MRSA infections.  A state inspector also found that the facility’s infection control program was last reviewed in 2007 and was based on 1983 guidelines.  Connecticut Health has submitted a plan to address the infection control concerns, according to the DPH report.

The West River Health Care Center of Milford was fined $925 for failing to properly care for two patients, one with a leg injury and the other with an arm injury.  The state report also notes an incident last year in which the Milford Police Department investigated a complaint and determined that a staff member had used a patient’s Visa debit card to make 13 fraudulent cash transactions totaling more than $2,000. The staff member was first suspended and then fired in December 2010, the report says.

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