A nursing home must pay several fines after state inspectors found instances of severe neglect.
In one case, a resident was a bilateral amputee with bed sores on his stumps and buttocks. When a state inspector found him one morning in April 2008, he was sleeping unattended in a wheelchair on the front walkway of the nursing home.
As the inspector approached, she noticed the lit cigarette smoldering on a towel covering the resident’s left stump. A 1-inch hole had burned into the towel and the edges of the fabric were glowing red. “Smoke was actively rising from the towel,” according to the inspection report. The man, who the nursing home had dubbed a “safe smoker,” was not injured.
It wasn’t the first time the patient had been found asleep with a lighted cigarette. Two weeks earlier, a nurse found the man sitting outside the facility, sleeping with a lit cigarette in his mouth.
The incidents reflect the nursing home’s “intentional or negligent failure to provide adequate and appropriate health care,” state officials said in a complaint last July that called for a $31,000 fine. As part of a settlement agreement, the fine was lowered this year to $11,000.
The same nursing home was also fined $5,000 this year when after state inspectors last year found maggots crawling out of the leg cast of a resident. That fine was initially $10,000, state records show.
The nursing home was also cited last year for failing to respond to a alarm connected to the front door of the facility that signals if people are leaving the facility. In addition inspectors interviewed six residents who said they were scared to voice grievances with the facility for fear of retribution. For more, read the story.
Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia.
Posted on Wed, June 10, 2009
by Robert Carter