In mid-September, Pennsylvania’s Department of Health (“DOH”) released the results of more than 300 statewide nursing home inspections, and they were not pretty.
According to the DOH website, surveyors for the Division of Nursing Care Facilities visit all nursing homes in Pennsylvania to determine compliance with state licensure regulations, as well as federal Medicare and Medicaid regulations.
While some visits are annual surveys or follow-up visits, many are investigations of complaints or abuse allegations.
Many inspections uncovered poor kitchen sanitation, improper medication storage, and residents left in unhygienic or unkempt states. However, what is even worse is the individual condition of many patients, often due to low staffing levels or general neglect. Here are some of the most egregious findings by DOH inspectors.
11 Head Staples Needed
At Manorcare Health Services – West Allen in Allentown, a resident fell out of bed and needed 11 staples to close a head wound. According to the inspectors, this resident was not provided with a bedpan by staff as often as directed by nursing home administrators.
Other issues at this facility included:
- Four residents with dementia who were not correctly seated in their geriatric recliners, resulting in a fall and head injury.
- A resident ignored signs placed in other residents’ rooms stating they did not want visitors. That individual ended up getting into a fight with one resident, while another resident had their bed urinated upon by this man.
- A resident was forced to wear a soiled hospital gown for a day.
- A man with sputum in his beard had to wait five hours before the staff cleaned him.
- Two residents could not reach their call bells.
- Food debris in the nursing home was not cleaned up for at least 24 hours.
Inspectors reported these issues had been corrected by mid-July.
At Manorcare Health Services in Allentown, a separate facility, a resident prescribed an increased dosage of medication for mood swings, depression and anxiety did not receive the additional amount for more than six weeks, when the inspection on August 9 revealed the dosage was never increased.
Perhaps a prompt medication increase would not have made as much of a difference to the patient, as inspectors also found a refrigerator was not set at the proper temperature for medication storage. The refrigerator has since been replaced.
Other Nursing Homes with Low Grades
While Manorcare Health Services – West Allen received the largest number of complaints, other nursing homes had various issues. At Gracedale, a facility in Upper Nazareth Township in Northampton County, one resident went for years without wearing the compression socks necessary to reduce the risk of blood clots forming in her legs.
The same woman was supposed to have a floor mat in her room because she was subject to falls. This situation went on from 2016 to 2019, when the conditions were finally corrected.
At Weston Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Hellertown, six of nine patients complaining to the staff of pain had to wait up to five days for pain assessments. A kitchen worker was found not wearing a beard guard. Inspectors ordered these conditions corrected by October 1.
To learn more, visit our nursing home neglect information or Pennsylvania state legal summary pages. Ready to see if you have a case? Contact us by email [hidden email], by phone 833.201.1555 or contact us online.