A long-troubled Massachusetts nursing home, owned and operated by a long-troubled nursing home chain, has been found to be placing residents in “immediate jeopardy” of harm, leading to the imposition of a hefty fine ($200,000), the freezing of payments from federal health care programs, and an order to stop accepting new patients. The state’s unannounced inspection of the nursing home on June 30 and July 1, 2016 resulted in the 70-page investigative report that was made public on August 11, 2016.
The nursing home’s corporate owner has already issued a statement, promising to create and implement a plan to address the serious and health-threatening deficiencies found in the report (“We have already begun to implement a number of the actions outlined in the report and the entire team is focused on assuring that our residents receive high quality, compassionate care”).
But that is too late for the former nursing home resident suffering from dementia who suffered a heart attack and died at the facility in April 2016, allegedly because the nursing home staff had not received the proper training to revive the woman (an aide was feeding the resident when she noticed that the resident’s head tilted back and she appeared to lose consciousness; neither the aide nor other nursing home staff who responded to the emergency provided CPR to the woman, and she was pronounced dead by a nursing supervisor who did not examine the woman). The nursing home failed to report the resident’s death to the proper state authorities, reportedly because the resident had no surviving family and because the nursing home administrator feared that the death would result in bad press for the nursing home’s corporate owner.
The state’s investigation reportedly determined that the nursing home staff did not have proper training in basic life-support care and that the nursing home’s medical equipment that is used to restore a regular cardiac rhythm to residents experiencing a sudden irregular heart beat was defective. The investigators reportedly also found that alarms that warn that wandering residents suffering from dementia are inappropriately leaving the facility were missing, and found that the medical equipment used to provide oxygen to residents needing oxygen were empty.
Another Death In March
A resident from the same nursing home died in March 2016 from an opioid overdose, two days after being discharged from the nursing home. The man had been admitted to the nursing home in August 2015, after undergoing a partial leg amputation. At the time of his admission to the nursing home, he was suffering from depression, anxiety, and chronic pain, which made him a suicide risk, and he was taking medications to treat his opioid addiction.
Despite the man’s known history of drug abuse, the nursing home staff reportedly placed him on narcotics at the time of his admission to the nursing home, including the drugs he had abused. Within days, the nursing home staff more than doubled his Fentanyl and discontinued the medication he had been taking to control his addiction to opioids. In November 2015, the man was transported to the hospital after he was found unresponsive. After the November hospital admission, no changes were made to the man’s medications by the nursing home.
In March 2016, the nursing home took steps to evict the man from its facility after finding that he had brought alcohol into the facility. The man’s death two days after he left the nursing home was determined to be due to an overdose of Fentanyl and other opioids. The nursing home was faulted in the investigative report for its failure to discuss with the man a plan for treatment and services after discharge, including a plan to manage his pain and manage his pain medication.
The nursing home where the residents died in March and April, 2016 is one of eleven nursing homes in Massachusetts owned by the same nursing home corporate owner, which was fined in April 2016 for the deaths of two residents at another nursing home it owns and operates.
If you or a loved one suffered injury or other harm while a resident of a nursing home in Massachusetts or in another U.S. state due to nursing home neglect, nursing home negligence, nursing home abuse, or nursing home under-staffing, you should promptly contact a local nursing home claim lawyer in Massachusetts or in your U.S. state who may investigate your nursing home claim for you and file a nursing home case on your behalf, if appropriate.
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