Seattle PI had an article about a nursing home lawsuit against Burien Nursing and Rehabilitation Center by Patrick Caron, a resident who lost his leg becuas eof the facility’s poor fall prevention.  Carson had a history of falling, balance issues, and difficulty in getting up unassisted.  Carson is schizophrenic and has been institutionalized for much of his life. A state report investigating the home showed that Carson has complex medical diagnoses of dementia and heart disease.

The complaint said the home was supposed to prevent falls and equip Carson with an automatic personal sensor to notify staff that he needed assistance. But in October of 2009, when he fell out of bed, no alarm sounded.  A doctor had prescribed an alarm for Carson after the burns, raising the question if an alarm had been on Carson in the first place.  The staff had moved Carson’s bed dangerously close to a baseboard heater, about three feet away, and Carson suffered third-degree burns on his left leg and right toes leading to the loss of his leg.

Lynda Baldwin, the home’s administrator, dubiously suggested that Carson has peripheral neuropathy which prevented him from feeling any pain.  She said staff had been doing rounds when Carson fell, and found him within 15 minutes of his fall.

Taxpayers via DHHS have so far paid $116,000 for treatment of Carson’s injuries. The complaint said his lifetime cost of care is estimated at $1.4 million.   Why should Medicaid or tax payers pay for the care when the nursing home caused the injury?

The state cited the home for failure to ensure a safe environment after Carson’s fall. A state investigator also said Carson made facial expressions communicating pain during a wound check.  The facility had been cited four times for failing to respond to patients’ needs in a timely manner.


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