Nursing Homes Fined Following Resident Sexual Assault, Falls, Medication Error

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Six nursing homes have been fined by the state Department of Public Health (DPH) for violations that endangered or injured residents.

Apple Rehab West Haven was fined $6,960 after a resident reported being sexually assaulted by a visitor.

On Oct. 2, 2018, a licensed practical nurse (LPN) saw the resident and a male visitor naked in the resident’s room, and the resident told the LPN they’d just had sex, according to DPH. The LPN asked the resident several times if she was alright and the resident replied that the male was her boyfriend. The LPN reported the incident to the director of nursing and asked if the resident’s guardian should be notified, but the director said there was nothing they could do if the sex was consensual.

The following morning, the resident—exhibiting injuries on the neck, back and right leg—reported to a RN that she was sexually assaulted, the citation said. The resident was taken to a hospital and a rape kit tested positive, the citation said.

DPH said a nurse aide had failed to find out who the visitor was before showing him to the resident’s room, and the resident, who suffered from a developmental disorder, was unable to make an informed decision to consent to sexual relations.

Regalcare at Southport was fined $10,000 for several violations. A resident with dementia fell six times between Oct. 27 and Nov. 28, 2018, suffering foot, ankle and nasal fractures during various falls, DPH said. Following each fall, staff failed to implement appropriate interventions and failed to ensure the resident took precautions.

On Nov. 27, 2018, an LPN was seen cleaning a glucometer with an alcohol wipe after testing a resident’s blood sugar. The LPN knew the device should be cleaned with a manufacturer-approved wipe. But the LPN used the alcohol wipe because the approved wipe made the LPN nauseous, DPH said. An investigation found the LPN tested residents’ blood sugar approximately 30 times during that month without cleaning it properly.

Maefair Health Care Center in Trumbull was fined $6,960 after a resident suffered a broken right femur and needed surgery.

The resident, who required help from two staff and a Hoyer lift for transfers, tried to self-transfer on Sept. 3, 2019, after a nurse aide left to look for a lift and help. According to DPH, the aide should have used a call button to summon help instead of leaving the resident unattended.

“Maefair Health Care Center takes the care of its patients and residents very seriously,” said Tim Brown, spokesman for parent company Athena Health Care Systems. “We are confident that the issue raised in the report was isolated and not consistent with the care and customer service at our center. The staff member involved with this incident was re-educated on our policies regarding two-person assist care and the importance of following policies.”

Portland Care and Rehabilitation Centre Inc. was fined $9,060 after a resident choked on a pierogi while eating on May 16, 2019, according to DPH. The resident was taken to a hospital and treated for an onset of atrial fibrillation “perhaps incited by the stressful event of choking,” the citation said.

The resident, who was on a soft diet, required food cut into dime-sized pieces and supervised meals. But on that day, according to the citation, the resident was served an entire pierogi and tried to eat it whole.

New London Sub-Acute and Nursing in Waterford was fined $6,960 after a resident received the wrong medications and became unresponsive.

The resident was found unresponsive on Oct. 10, 2019, after an LPN administered the resident’s roommate’s medications to the resident by mistake, including the sedative Ativan, antidepressant Lexapro, and antipsychotic Clozapine, according to DPH. Emergency medical personnel took the resident to a hospital, where the resident was intubated and subsequently discharged Oct. 27 to a long-term care facility. The LPN who administered the medication was fired.

Apple Rehab Rocky Hill was fined $4,800 for three incidents in which residents left the facility.

On Oct. 12, 2019, a resident in a locked dementia unit left the building following an LPN who went outside to the parking lot. Staff returned the resident to the facility without injury.

On Nov. 15, 2019, a resident wearing a WanderGuard bracelet was found outside. The resident left through an unlocked door, and the alarm failed to sound.

On Sept. 22, 2019, a resident climbed out a window and fell, suffering a knee injury. According to the citation, the resident removed a window from its frame the day prior.

Officials at Apple Rehab West Haven, Regalcare at Southport, Portland Care and Rehabilitation Centre, New London Sub-Acute and Nursing, and Apple Rehab Rocky Hill didn’t return calls seeking comment.


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