Six Connecticut nursing homes fined following resident’s abuse, care lapses
The state has fined six nursing homes for various separate violations that jeopardized patient safety, including one in which a resident was struck by a nurse and others that resulted in residents suffering broken bones.
Apple Rehab Saybrook in Old Saybrook was fined $1,750 after a resident fell and suffered a broken femur that required surgery.
The resident, who was at risk for falls, fell on Oct. 26, 2016, while being helped by a nurse aide to the bathroom, according to the state Department of Public Health. An investigation found the aide failed to use a gait belt when helping the resident to the bathroom, as required by facility policy. According to DPH, the aide was aware of the policy but wouldn’t answer specific questions about the incident.
“Each resident is unique and important to us and our goal at Apple Rehab Saybrook and Apple Inc. is to continually provide our residents with individualized care and services,” said John Anantharaj, vice president of clinical services. “Our policies and procedures that uphold residents’ dignity, safe transfers, prevention of falls and general well-being remain our highest priority and are reviewed regularly with staff for compliance and competency.”
The Nathaniel Witherell in Greenwich was fined $1,940 for two instances, DPH said.
On March 24, a resident with Parkinson’s disease, dementia and other diagnoses suffered a broken collarbone and broken right hip after falling onto the floor in a bathroom. The resident required supervision for standing and transfers, but a nurse aide left the resident alone for privacy, according to DPH. The resident was treated at local hospital.
On Sept. 22, a resident with hypertension was hospitalized for dehydration and severe renal failure, according to DPH. Investigators found the resident, who was at risk for dehydration, wasn’t properly monitored for warning signs.
“We’ve replied with a corrective action plan, which was accepted” by DPH, said Allen Brown, Witherell’s executive director. “They consider us now in full compliance.”
Chelsea Place Care Center in Hartford was fined $1,920 for an incident in which a resident reported abuse.
On Feb. 7, the resident, who suffers from bipolar and post-traumatic stress disorders, sustained cuts and abrasions to the mouth and forehead and a broken tooth after being struck “six to seven times” by a licensed practical nurse, according to DPH.
The LPN admitted to punching the resident and reported being choked by the resident who refused to leave another resident’s room. The LPN later denied hitting the resident, but the facility determined abuse occurred and the LPN was terminated, according to the citation.
The resident was taken to a hospital for evaluation, admitted for psychiatric treatment, and ultimately discharged to another facility on March 1.
“We take this matter very seriously. The health, safety and well-being of our resident community remain Chelsea Place Care Center’s utmost priority,” said Michael Landi, chief operating officer of parent company iCare. “The events in question were isolated in nature and are not representative of the high standards of care and service we demand from our employees.”
Westside Care Center in Manchester was fined $1,740 after a nurse aide offered to obtain illegal drugs for a resident in exchange for sexual favors.
On Feb. 26, the aide offered to get the resident illegal substances. The aide asked the resident how payment would be made “and made a gesture consistent with a sexual act,” according to the citation. The aide also asked to exchange cell phone numbers with the resident.
The resident, who was being treated for various injuries from a motor vehicle accident, reported the incident to staff, according to DPH, and the aide was suspended. The aide was fired after an investigation determined the exchange was inappropriate and violated policy. The aide had sent text messages and made phone calls to the resident in an attempt to extort sexual favors, investigators found.
“We strive each day to provide the highest quality care for all resident of our facility. While the facility implemented immediate interventions, all of which were accepted by the Department of Public Health, and took this matter with the highest level of importance, it also successfully contested many aspects of the department’s investigation, findings and conclusions,” said Patrick Neagle, Westside Care administrator, declining further comment.
Connecticut Baptist Homes in Meriden was fined $1,630 for two instances.
On June 15, a resident with dementia suffered a leg laceration after hitting a bracket attached to a wheelchair. According to DPH, a nurse aide tried to move the resident without help, despite a physician’s order calling for two-person assistance. The resident received 14 sutures at a local hospital, according to the citation.
On Aug. 24, two nurse aides were observed transferring another resident with dementia from a wheelchair to a bed by lifting the resident by the legs and under the arm pits, according to DPH. The transfer didn’t comply with facility policies and put the resident at risk for shoulder dislocation and nerve damage, according to the citation.
An aide involved in the August incident was suspended and re-educated on safe patient handling before returning to work and all staff were re-educated on the topic, said Patricia Morse, Connecticut Baptist Homes administrator. Random safety audits have been conducted daily throughout the facility, she added.
Beacon Brooke Health Center in Naugatuck was fined $1,530 after one resident made inappropriate sexual gestures to another. After three incidents, the resident who made the gestures was discharged. Administrator Linda Garcia declined to comment, citing confidentiality reasons.