reported the filing of a lawsuit against Windsor Chico Creek Care and Rehabilitation Center for negligence and the wrongful death of a Geraldine Pavcik.  Pavcik was admitted to the facility on June 17 for short term rehab after a minor back injury.

Because Pavcik was at risk of falling, her doctor had ordered bed-rail restraints, a lowered bed, an alarm system, and that she be closely attended to.   All are standard preventative measures available in most nursing homes but they depend on proper supervision and a quick response time to call bells and alarms which, of course, depends on adequate staffing.  Most residents fall because the nursing home chose to be understaffed and that leads to falls.

These measure were not in place on "multiple occasions" while Pavcik was in the nursing home.  On July 3, Pavcik was left unattended and without bed rails and a bed alarm.  At 7 a.m. that day, she fell out of bed, severly fracturing her left hip.  Although her hip was X-rayed at the facility at 2:45 p.m., she wasn’t transferred to an acute-care hospital until after 9 p.m.

Pavcik had surgery for her fractured hip, but the operation affected her mental condition, and she was no longer able to eat or drink effectively.   As a result, she contracted "aspiration pneumonia," a type of pneumonia that can develop in people who inhale liquid or bits of food. The woman died of respiratory failure as a result of pneumonia.

Among the accusations against the nursing home are that its administrators failed to hire enough staff to keep Pavcik safe, that her doctor’s orders were not followed, that she wasn’t transferred to an acute-care hospital when she needed to be, and that her doctor was not notified as her condition declined before she died.


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