Clark Kauffman, staff writer for DesMoines Register wrote the following review of recent nursing home fines in Iowa.
Clearview Home, Mount Ayr:
A nurse aide was improperly transferring a resident who had a long-standing, serious head injury when the two lost their balance and the resident fell face-first to the floor. The resident was treated at a hospital for broken teeth and facial lacerations, then returned to the home. The resident died the next day. The home was fined $10,000.
Denison Care Center, Denison:
A resident was injured while being transferred, suffering spiral fractures in both legs, but was not taken to a hospital for three days. At the time of the accident, the resident told workers, "You broke my leg." The resident died at the hospital. A physician concluded the accident and injuries were the cause of the resident’s death. The home was fined $10,000.
Eldora Nursing Home, Eldora:
A resident with a history of respiratory problems was found dead on a floor one morning. Employees said they had not checked on the man for at least nine hours, even though the resident was to have been checked every two hours. The home was fined $10,000 for failing to provide a safe environment. Three months later, the home was fined $300 for the same type of violation. In that instance, a resident had been physically attacking and threatening other residents for several months. Five months later, the home was again cited for failing to provide a safe environment.
The Manor, Malvern:
A physician was to be contacted if a resident with end-stage liver disease became drowsy or lethargic. Nurses documented that the resident was "noticeably lethargic" and napping in the lobby, but they did not contact the doctor. A nurse allegedly told a concerned co-worker that the resident was "going to die anyway." Several hours later, an employee noted that the resident was still in the lobby and was dead. A doctor told inspectors the resident might have lived had he been contacted. The home was fined $10,000.
New Homestead Care Center, Guthrie Center:
Six workers reported to managers and supervisors that a male employee had committed multiple acts of abuse and neglect against residents. Managers did not act on those concerns, which allowed the abuse to continue. In one instance, the man allegedly put a chair against the door of a female resident’s room while he was inside. Another worker forced her way in and saw the employee bent over the mentally disabled resident, who was partially undressed and bleeding from her vagina. The man turned his back on the other worker and claimed he was cleaning the resident, but he had no washcloths, towels or other supplies. The home was fined $7,000. Eleven months later, inspectors returned to the home and filed a 64-page report of violations.
Park Place, Glenwood:
Four workers noted that a mentally retarded female resident was moaning and groaning in pain one night after having refused food and medication for days. The workers repeatedly asked the nurse on duty to check on the woman, expressing concern that the woman was dying and in serious pain. The nurse did not respond or contact a doctor. Hours later, the woman was found dead, face down at the foot of her bed. Two workers alleged the nurse was often talking on her cell phone or text-messaging her boyfriend. The home was fined $10,000.
Risen Son Christian Village, Council Bluffs:
A resident was placed in a bed with a broken side rail and fell to the floor, suffering a broken leg. The resident was taken to a hospital and died. The fall was the underlying cause of death. Several workers were aware the side rails on the bed were not working properly. The home was fined $10,000.
Scottish Rite Park, Des Moines:
A female resident fell in a shower, causing a serious, overlapping break in the bones of one leg. At the time, the woman told workers, "I guarantee you my leg is broken," but none of the employees notified the woman’s family or doctor, or ordered an X-ray, until the next day. Three workers told inspectors they were fearful of losing their jobs or state licenses. The resident later died, and the home’s medical director told inspectors the death was directly related to the fall. The home was fined $10,000.
Windmill Manor, Coralville:
A resident was entering other residents’ rooms, blocking their exit and then hitting and threatening them. One of the victims tearfully told inspectors she was afraid of the man and wished she could live somewhere else. The director of nursing told inspectors she was aware of the attacker’s history but said the victim who complained was "over-dramatic." While inspectors were at the home, they noticed the attacker was sleeping in the nurses’ station. A worker explained that is where the man stayed, otherwise he would enter the rooms of other residents and "make them scream." The home was fined $500. Two weeks later, inspectors were back at the home investigating a death. A resident had been admitted to the home after a leg amputation. While at the home, the resident’s skin deteriorated. The director of nursing never looked at the wounds. Eventually, the resident was hospitalized and doctors alleged the home had failed to treat a large, open sore. The resident was diagnosed with an infection, developed complications and died. The home was fined $10,000.
Clark Kauffman also has an excellent article about how the nursing home lobbyists have limited the amount of fines for neglect and abuse to a maximum of $10,000. Continue reading for a brief summary.
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