Beating, Medication Lapse At Nursing Homes Lead To State Fines

Three Connecticut nursing homes have been fined by the state Department of Public Health (DPH) for various violations.

The Curtis Home St. Elizabeth Center in Meriden was fined $3,000 following an incident in which a resident suffered nose fractures and numerous head lacerations that required sutures and staples after being hit repeatedly on the head with a wheelchair foot pedal by another resident.

On Aug. 22, 2017, a resident was found by staff in “a pool of blood all over” and another resident was standing over the resident’s bedside striking the resident, according to DPH. There was blood “all over” the walls, sheets and the resident’s head.

The resident was taken to a hospital and treated for numerous head lacerations, including one wound where the skull was visible, DPH said.

A registered nurse was seen leaving the injured resident’s room without providing any care, and a licensed practical nurse admitted to not providing any care, according to information obtained by DPH. The RN supervisor told investigators she didn’t assess the resident’s injuries because she was in shock, and she “saw the resident move so she knew [the resident] was alive,” the citation said.

Staff failed to properly help the resident who had been beaten and should have stayed with the resident, assessed the injuries and applied pressure to the bleeding, DPH said.

Officials at the facility did not return a call seeking comment.

Masonicare Health Center in Wallingford was fined $2,150 for two incidents involving one resident.

The resident was admitted to a hospital on Oct. 14, 2017, the day after being discharged from the facility, with a stage 3 pressure ulcer that measured 13 centimeters by 5 centimeters, according to DPH.

When the resident was admitted to the facility on Sept. 18, 2017, “moisture-associated skin damage” was noted, according to the citation, but the injury progressed to a stage 2 pressure ulcer by Oct. 9. An investigation found records were incomplete and failed to show the resident was properly medicated for the wound, DPH said.

Separately, on Oct. 5, 2017, it was discovered the same resident didn’t receive a prescribed blood thinning medication from Sept. 18 to Oct. 2—a total of 30 missed doses over 15 days—according to the citation.  The resident was scheduled for a procedure on Oct. 3, but that was canceled when a cardiologist discovered a blood clot in the right atrium. The cardiologist said it was unclear whether the clot was caused by the omission of the blood thinner or was due to the resident’s long history of arterial fibrillation, according to DPH.

An investigation found a licensed practical nurse had transcribed a physician’s orders for the blood thinner to a written physician’s order sheet on Sept. 18 but didn’t enter the order into the computerized physician order system. According to the citation, the LPN was disciplined and educated and, since the incident, a licensed nurse audits all admission physician orders for accuracy.

Officials at the facility did not return a call seeking comment.

RegalCare at Waterbury was fined $1,530 after a resident performed a sexual act in front of another resident on Dec. 25, 2016. The resident who committed the act never touched the other resident. An investigation found the facility failed to keep the resident who saw the act free from sexual abuse, which includes sexual harassment.

Officials at the facility did not return a call seeking comment.

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