The L.A. Times reported that State officials have fined two nursing homes in Orange County for providing care so inadequate that it caused the deaths of two patients.

In one case, a woman died from dehydration.  This is clearly a preventable death.  The nursing home failed to give a resident sufficient fluids, causing her to suffer dehydration and acute kidney failure.   A doctor ordered that the patient’s fluid intake and urine output be monitored during every shift.  A review of the patient’s intake and output of fluids was blank or illegible.  The woman’s condition had deteriorated so much that she was transferred to a hospital, where she was diagnosed with a urinary tract infection, dehydration and an "altered mental status."  

The patient died six days later, on Christmas Day.  Alamitos West Health Care Center in Los Alamitos was fined $100,000

 In the other, staff failed to provide CPR to a man suffering a heart attack because they mistakenly believed he was under orders not to be resuscitated.  A registered nurse supervisor did not call 911 as a patient was dying "because she thought the patient had orders" not to be resuscitated. In fact, the patient’s medical record included an advance directive form from a family member on which was marked the option, "I DO WANT C.P.R." in an emergency situation.  A licensed vocational nurse called to inform a family member that the patient had died. The nurse told the family member that the patient was dead and that paramedics were not called because the facility had orders not to resuscitate the patient.  The family member told the nurse to hang up and call 911.  By the time paramedics arrived, they found the patient in bed with no heartbeat. He was covered with a sheet with no signs that CPR had been initiated.

State officials levied an $80,000 fine on the Huntington Valley Healthcare Center in Huntington Beach.


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