The Minnesota Star-Tribune reported that an assisted-living facility is being held responsible for the death of a resident who suffered head injuries from a fall and received no medical attention for days afterward.
The Health Department’s investigative report says that Lighthouse of Columbia Heights “failed to report changes” in the resident’s condition to a nurse and “failed to seek medical attention in a timely manner” after the resident fell in November 2011 and developed a sizable bump on one side of her head and a smaller one on the other side.
The resident was hospitalized three days later before dying on Dec. 5. Her death certificate concluded the fall caused her death. In citing the center for neglect, the report noted that the facility had no registered nurse available for unlicensed staffers to call after hours in the event of changes in residents’ conditions.
The Minnesota Star-Tribune reported the sad case of a resident who died when the nursing home staff failed to recognize the obvious signs of a cardiac arrest. State investigators concluded that the staff failed to act quickly enough to save the life of a resident whose condition was rapidly deteriorating. Sunwood Good Samaritan Society of Redwood Falls was found negligent in the death. Specifically, the investigation found, the home failed to have formal processes in place for monitoring and reacting to significant changes in a resident’s condition.
The report states:
On Oct. 31 during dinner, the resident coughed and gasped while eating. A nurse sent a fax to a doctor saying that the woman was having breathing problems. There was no evidence that the doctor responded to the fax or that staff followed up with the doctor that day.
The next day, the resident’s breathing problems continued, she was lethargic and her appetite was poor.
That evening, the woman’s “condition further declined.” She exhibited symptoms of respiratory distress: Breathing became more difficult, her pulse was erratic and her fingertips turned dark blue. With a grimace on her face, she curled herself into a fetal position.
A nurse put her on oxygen and gave her a drug to ease her discomfort.
Additional faxes were sent to the doctor starting at 4:15 p.m. and marked “urgent.” The doctor responded at 5 p.m. after the third one.
At 5:15 p.m., a nurse called for an ambulance but did not say it was an emergency situation. At 6:25 p.m., a second call was made for the ambulance by the same nurse, again without mentioning the situation’s urgency.
By the time ambulance arrived at 6:30 p.m., the woman was in cardiac arrest. She died 26 minutes later. Her attending physician listed cardio-respiratory failure on her death certificate.
The physician said in an interview with the state that staff should have been quicker in notifying a doctor and in obtaining emergency medical assistance.
The Tracy Press out of California had an article about the death of a nursing home resident caused by the neglect and negligence of the nursing home. New Hope Care Center which is owned by the for profit corporate owner Evergreen Healthcare Companies, LLC failed to properly monitor her medication and failed to check her into an emergency room fast enough when her brain started bleeding. Caregivers failed to keep a close eye on the condition of the patient after a doctor ordered an increase in medication to prevent blood clots. A possible side effect of the medication is excessive bleeding. Because the nursing home staff didn’t monitor a change in the woman’s condition after the doctor upped her anticoagulant prescription, the state said they missed warning signs that could have saved the woman’s life. Days after the doctor-ordered increase in her blood-thinning medication, the woman started slurring her words and complaining of a headache. Even though the woman woke up just a couple hours earlier, she started nodding off, waking up only to vomit.
The facility was fined $100,000 after the nursing home ignored the worsening condition of a patient. State investigators concluded that New Hope caregivers “failed to ensure that the resident’s medications were monitored and failed to fully assess the resident or promptly notify the physician when there was a change in the resident’s condition, which resulted in the resident’s death,” according to Al Lundeen, a spokesman for the state agency. The fine levied on the nursing home is the maximum penalty the agency can impose for a “AA” citation, the harshest assessment for hospitals and nursing homes in California.
The article mentions several other complaints and investigations into New Hope.