October 8, 2015

Five Nursing Homes Fined For Lapses In Care

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Five nursing homes have been fined by the state for various violations that resulted in injuries to residents.

The state Department of Public Health (DPH) fined Masonicare Health Center in Wallingford $1,300 after a resident fell, breaking a shinbone.

In March, the resident who suffers from congestive heart failure and dementia, and requires two-person assistance when using the bathroom, fell when only one nursing assistant moved the client, according to DPH.

The nursing assistant said she helped the resident without additional assistance because the resident already was trying to get up, the citation states.

“Our residents’ safety is really, first and foremost, our priority,” said Melinda Schoen, Masonicare’s vice president for administration. Staff members follow residents’ individualized care plans “extremely closely,” she said, and “our goal is to avoid any injury.”

Groton Regency Center was fined $1,230 for two incidents in which residents were injured.

In July, a resident who has dementia, and who requires two-person assistance with transfers, fell out of a shower chair and suffered a face laceration.

A nursing assistant said she was helping the resident in the shower and called for help to move the resident to a wheelchair. When no one responded to her calls, according to the citation, she left the shower room and went around the corner to get a staff person to assist. When she came back, the resident had fallen facedown on the floor, according to DPH.

The resident suffered a 4-inch laceration on the face that required six sutures and six staples to the scalp and forehead, the citation states.

In a separate incident in June, another resident suffered a blister on the thigh after dozing off and spilling tea, according to DPH. A nursing assistant had microwaved water to prepare the tea, but there was no thermometer nearby to check the water temperature before giving it to the resident, according to the citation.

Officials at the facility did not respond to a call seeking comment.

Ellis Manor in Hartford was fined $1,210 after a resident suffered face scratches, inflicted by another resident.

In July, a resident, whose diagnoses included chronic kidney disease, was heard screaming. Responding staff found the resident’s roommate scratching the resident’s face. The injured resident’s face was bleeding. The resident was transported to the Emergency Department for treatment to the face and “right arm tenderness from twisting,” according to the citation.

It was an “isolated and unfortunate incident,” said Ann Baldwin, spokeswoman for the facility’s parent company, Affinity Healthcare.

“Upon the state’s review of this situation, there was no way of predicting this patient’s actions as the patient had never shown any signs of this type of behavior,” she said. “Fortunately, there were no serious injuries. Of course the safety and well-being of all of our patients and staff at Ellis Manor is our number one priority.”

Orchard Grove Specialty Care Center in Uncasville was fined $1,160 after a nursing assistant treated a resident roughly while assisting with a shower, causing a scratch, the citation states.

In July, two staff members told state investigators that they saw a nursing assistant “very roughly” pull off a resident’s shoe, fail to use the shower chair’s safety strap, fail to test the water temperature until the resident yelled “too hot,” and use “excessive force” while cleaning the resident, resulting in a scratch near the buttocks.

The resident, whose diagnoses included dementia and anxiety, had a care plan that stated the need for a “gentle touch” during care, according to DPH.

Officials at the facility did not respond to a request for comment.

Beechwood in New London was fined $1,160 after a resident suffered a pressure ulcer when staff failed to remove a leg splint to check the skin underneath.

A resident was admitted in January with a leg fracture, wearing a splint, according to DPH, and records didn’t indicate whether the splint could be removed. The resident was identified as being at a high risk for pressure ulcers as well as skin breakdown due to the fracture, according to the citation.

Although staff assessed the resident’s circulation, sensation and motion, no one contacted the doctor to see whether the splint should be removed or the skin checked, according to DPH.

Beechwood did not respond to a phone call seeking comment.

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