The Richmond Register reported the lawsuit filed by the widow a former Madison Manor resident.  The widow complains that the nursing home failed to care for an infection on her husband’s foot, which led to leg amputation and eventual death.  Donna Anderson claims that negligent care at Richmond Health and Rehabilitation – Madison Manor accelerated the deterioration of her husband’s health and physical condition beyond the normal aging process. Robert Anderson also suffered loss of personal dignity and “extreme pain and suffering, degradation, mental anguish, disability and disfigurement” because of the negligent care, the suit claims.

While he was there, Madison Manor was negligent by failing to maintain adequate staffing and nursing care, the lawsuit claims, saying the facility did not take proper steps to prevent or eliminate deficiencies at the nursing home.

The suit also claims proper records were not maintained for Robert Anderson, and the nursing home did not treat and monitor his symptoms and pain. Donna Anderson also claims the home did not take steps to prevent malnutrition and did not provide adequate hygiene and sanitary care.

 

 

The Winston-Salem Journal reported the $20,000 fine given to Bradford Village of Kernersville, N.C. for failing to keep a blind resident safe.  The poor woman wandered away from the facility unsupervised and drowned in a puddle about 200 feet away.

The report found that the resident had approached staff in the front lobby three times between 11 p.m. and 12:30 a.m., each time in a confused, disoriented state. She asked someone to take her across the creek to the next county. Staff said they took the resident back to her bed each time, and she was in her bed at the 2 a.m. check.

The woman somehow left the facility between 2 and 4 a.m. on Nov. 12, 2009, through a door with the alarm turned off.  Employees told state investigators that the alarms were often turned off to allow workers to take smoking breaks, and the third-shift supervisor was unaware the alarm needed to be activated at 9 p.m.  The resdient was reported missing at 4:15 a.m., and a family member finally found her lying face down in water about 2 inches deep.

The home was found in violation of three codes regarding physical environment, personal care and supervision, and resident rights. The agency said the home "failed to ensure measures were utilized to prevent residents assessed as being disoriented and having wandering behaviors from exiting the facility building unsupervised."

 

Jamie Self at York Herald Journal reported York County Coroner Sabrina Gast’s efforts to correct a broken system.  Starting an investigation months after the death, some close to a year later, makes it difficult to conduct an efficient investigation, she said.  "Errors in how some nursing home deaths are reported have led to time-consuming investigations – oftentimes months after a death – for coroners across the state."

Nursing homes, like hospitals, have physicians who are authorized to sign death certificates. If the cause of death is unnatural (neglect) or suspicious (abuse), the coroner must be notified and an investigation should be initiated.  However, this rarely happens since the nursing homes who may be responsible for the abuse and neglect fail to report these deaths claiming they were "accidental".

The certificate of death should be sent to S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control.  Oftentimes months later, coroners will learn of the mistake when the Department of Health and Environmental Control, after discovering the error, sends the certificate to them with an order to investigate.  Sometimes a family member has to inform them the death certificate is wrong.

 

In other counties, coroners have asked DHEC to revoke a power it gives to nursing homes, said Thom Berry, DHEC spokesman. For every death, a permit for transporting the body to a funeral home – called a burial transit permit – must be issued. With DHEC’s permission, nursing homes often issue the permit. In the event of a natural death, the nursing home never has to contact the coroner, so the coroner doesn’t always know someone has died.