A nursing home patient whose pressure ulcer deteriorated and resulted in an above-the-knee amputation two months later, whose family was not informed by the nursing home about the exitence of the pressure ulcer or the need for amputation until the day before surgery, who did not receive tube feedings as ordered by her doctor, and whose feedings were repeatedly skipped was the subject of a recent state inspection report of Hillcrest-West nursing home. The patient's doctors said bone in the leg was probably infected and the wound was "exquisitely (intensely) painful." A podiatrist said the pressure ulcer was the "result of neglect . . . the worst wound I have seen in 12 years," and the surgeon who amputated the patient's leg agreed, according to the state's report.
The nursing home has been penalized for providing substandard care by the state three times in the past two years. Nine of the 37 patients whose care was reviewed by state inspectors during the last facility survey were reported to be receiving a "substandard quality of care" and may be in "immediate jeopardy." Among those patients, state inspectors found several other patients with pressure ulcers, broken bones, and bruises. One of the patients sustained a broken leg when the care provider should have used a mechanical lift for a transfer from wheelchair to bed.
As a result of the state's investigation, the nursing home was fined $1,500 and federal fines of $4,150 per day have been recommended until problems are corrected. A monitor is also being appointed to oversee care at the facility. The nursing home also risks losing federal funding if the care problems are not corrected. Read more about the nursing home's problems.
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 Sat, May 17, 2008
by Robert Carter