Assisted Living Facility Still Losing Residents to Hepatitis B

According to state officials, a sixth person has died as a result of a hepatitis B outbreak at an assisted living center. Residents began contracting hepatitis in August, state officials said. Eight cases had been reported previously, but officials said follow-up tests on two other residents showed that they had the illness but had recovered on their own.

The State Division of Public Health reported last month that unsafe practices with blood-glucose monitors likely spread the illness. The monitors weren't labeled with residents' names and weren't properly cleaned after each use, according to investigators. Facility officials have denied any responsibility for the hepatitis outbreak, suggesting it was caused by people coming in from outside or by residents sharing drinks.

The facility was ordered by by the state to improve its infection-control practices by mid November. The corrective plan included appointing a staff member to coordinate infection control, providing staff training on proper procedures and having a registered nurse or pharmacist observe blood-glucose monitoring of patients at least once a week. The state may impose a fine for the violations found by inspectors. State law allows a fines ranging from $1,000 to $20,000 per day that the violations occurred. 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.

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