Five Nursing Homes Fined Following Lapses In Care

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Five nursing homes were fined by the state Department of Public Health for lapses in care that resulted in harm to residents.

An inspection at Paradigm Healthcare Center of West Haven resulted in a $2,460 fine, after a resident used a pocketknife to self-inflict a laceration to the side of his or her neck on Feb. 2.

The resident was taken by ambulance to a local hospital and treated for the laceration and suicidal ideation. A review of resident care records found that a nurse noted on Feb. 2 that the resident was “weepy and crying,” and that the nursing supervisor was notified. But no assessment was conducted or physician called, according to the March inspection report.

A second citation noted that the facility did not have a contraband list, did not know that the resident had a pocketknife and did not know how the resident obtained the pocketknife. The facility administrator did not want to comment on the citations.

The Montowese Health & Rehabilitation Center of North Haven was fined $1,230 for not fulfilling a doctor’s order to provide an air mattress to a resident for seven days. The resident was admitted April 16 and diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, diabetes and a stage III pressure ulcer on the sacrum.

According to the citation, facility staff could not explain why the air mattress was not delivered to the resident until April 24. The resident was also sent to dialysis without the proper cushion to sit on during the four-hour procedure, the citation states. A hospital administrator did not comment on the citation.

Birmingham Health Center of Derby was fined $1,160 after a resident suffered an oblique facture while being moved by one nurse’s aide in a Hoyer lift in November 2013. According to the citation, a care plan on Oct. 1, 2013, noted that the resident was at risk for falling and directed that a Hoyer lift, with the assistance of two aides, should be used for transfers. A hospital administrator did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Meadow Ridge of West Redding was fined $1,020, after a resident suffered an acute fracture of the lower right leg after being moved using a sit-to-standing lift.

The resident required two staff members for transfers between surfaces including a bed, chair and wheelchair, according to the citation. The physical therapist, interviewed by DPH staff, could not provide documentation that the resident had been re-assessed and approved for standing lift transfers.

Also in May, the facility was fined $220 after a resident developed swelling in an ankle. The facility put in place a procedure to notify a doctor “when a significant change in a resident’s physical or mental status has occurred,’’ the citation states. A hospital administrator did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Riverside Health & Rehabilitation Center of East Hartford was fined $1,020 after a resident, diagnosed with dementia, was observed on July 14, 2013, with a deep laceration on the right calf, after being moved with a Sara lift by a nurse’s aide. The resident was taken to a local hospital and the laceration was surgically repaired. The citation noted that a care plan required that two people use a lift to transfer the resident. The nurse’s aide, who transferred the resident without the help of a second person, was fired by the home, the citation states.

Timothy Brown, director of communications and public relations at the National Healthcare Associates, said “Riverside takes the care and safety of its patients and residents very seriously and has a zero tolerance policy in regards to any type of abuse or lapse of care. The incident in question was investigated internally and our managers took appropriate steps to address and properly report the incident, per our center’s policies.’’

He added, “The center’s managers developed an action plan to address the areas of concern raised during the survey, including education and training for all staff, which was accepted by the state and implemented at the center.’’


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