In 2018, the state took the unusual step of issuing a consent order requiring a New Haven nursing home to hire an independent nurse consultant and implement minimum staffing ratios after inspections at the facility uncovered numerous lapses in care and safety violations. The order, agreed to in April by the Advanced Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation and the state Department of Public Health (DPH), tasked the independent nurse consultant with assessing the staff’s ability to do their jobs and evaluating how care is delivered. The minimum staffing ratios ordered are 30 patients to one licensed nurse on all shifts, on most units; 10 patients to one nurse’s aide on the first shift; 12 patients to one nurse’s aide on the second shift; and 20 patients to one nurse’s aide on the third shift. Officials at the facility didn’t return calls seeking comment. It isn’t often that DPH mandates staffing or requires nursing homes to hire consultants, but the order reflects a broader emerging problem affecting the care provided at many nursing homes: insufficient staffing levels and caregivers who lack training.
The state Department of Public Health (DPH) has fined four nursing homes following staff errors and lapses in care earlier this year. Gardner Heights Health Care Center in Shelton was fined $3,480 after a resident who was known to have difficulty swallowing choked on a lasagna noodle. The resident choked in a dining room on April 24. Staff performed the Heimlich maneuver several times with no success, according to DPH. When the resident subsequently was suctioned, a three-inch-long lasagna noodle was removed; the resident soon became more responsive, had improved color and began talking again.
Four Connecticut nursing homes have been fined by the state Department of Public Health (DPH) for various violations that hurt or endangered residents. Orchard Grove Specialty Care Center in Uncasville was fined $3,480 after a resident with multiple sclerosis developed severe blisters following a moist-heat treatment. On April 7, the resident had a fluid-filled blister that measured 8 by 6 centimeters on the right shoulder, as well as a red rash on the left shoulder. Two days later, the resident had “multiple areas of large fluid-filled blisters” on both shoulders that were oozing, according to the citation. An investigation found the blisters were caused by a treatment administered by an occupational therapist during which moist heat was applied with hydrocollator packs.
The state Department of Public Health (DPH) has fined four nursing homes for violations that resulted in injuries to residents. Marlborough Health and Rehabilitation Center was fined $3,270 after a resident suffered two leg fractures when a nurse aide failed to transport the resident properly. The resident, who had Alzheimer’s disease and other diagnoses, was screaming in pain with a swollen left leg on Nov. 27, 2017, and an X-ray at the facility showed a broken left femur. The resident was transferred to a hospital, according to DPH.
Six Connecticut nursing homes have been cited and fined by the state Department of Public Health (DPH) for violations, including one instance in which a resident died after a series of staff errors. St. Camillus Center in Stamford was fined $6,000 after a resident died and video footage at the facility subsequently showed staff waited 10 minutes to administer CPR after finding the resident unresponsive. On Feb. 16, 2018, a resident with lung cancer was found sitting on the floor.
The state Department of Public Health (DPH) has fined six nursing homes for various violations that endangered or injured residents. Masonicare Health Center in Wallingford was fined $3,900 after a resident developed a severe pressure ulcer. On June 12, 2017, a resident who suffered incontinence and was a risk for skin breakdown was diagnosed with an unstageable deep tissue injury in the lower back. An advanced practice registered nurse determined the resident had the wrong type of mattress and recommended the use of a pressure-reducing cushion, according to DPH. Once the resident received the cushion, it was under-inflated on multiple occasions and documentation from May through August failed to show staff were monitoring its inflation, according to the citation.
Three Connecticut nursing homes have been fined by the state Department of Public Health (DPH) for various violations. The Curtis Home St. Elizabeth Center in Meriden was fined $3,000 following an incident in which a resident suffered nose fractures and numerous head lacerations that required sutures and staples after being hit repeatedly on the head with a wheelchair foot pedal by another resident. On Aug. 22, 2017, a resident was found by staff in “a pool of blood all over” and another resident was standing over the resident’s bedside striking the resident, according to DPH.
Three years ago, Meredith Phillips’ mother, Georgia Svolos, fell and broke her kneecap, setting off a downward spiral that landed her in nursing homes on and off for a year. In one facility, she fell and broke her knee again, necessitating more surgery. All of the facilities were noisy and chaotic, and one smelled of feces. So, when Phillips learned recently about moves by the Trump administration to ease regulations and fines on nursing homes, she was alarmed. “I’m horrified and frightened,” says Phillips, who lives in Westbrook.
The state Department of Public Health (DPH) has fined six nursing homes for violations that resulted in injuries to residents. Cheshire Regional Rehabilitation Center was fined $3,000 after a resident, who required staff assistance to eat was left alone and choked on a roll. On the morning of Oct. 10, 2017, the resident, who had functional quadriplegia and difficulty swallowing, was found next to a dining room table that had a plate of rolls on it and was holding a roll. A licensed practical nurse took the roll away from the resident and left the room, but a surveyor subsequently saw the resident wheeze and cough out a piece of the roll, according to DPH.
Seven Connecticut nursing homes have been fined by the state Department of Public Health (DPH) for violations that endangered or injured residents. Harbor Village North Health and Rehabilitation Center in New London was fined $3,000 for four violations. On Aug. 1, 2017, a resident with pulmonary heart disease was hospitalized with low blood pressure and incontinence after a registered nurse administered medication intended for another resident, according to DPH. On that same date, a second resident was mistakenly given long-acting insulin instead of fast-acting insulin by a licensed practical nurse (LPN).