Sadly, elder abuse—nursing home abuse in particular—continues
to plague California. Most recently, a Whittier nursing home was cited
and fined after
an investigation concluded that inappropriate treatment and services led to the death of
a 78-year-old patient.
The man was recovering from a stroke and suffered from Alzheimer’s
when he was admitted to the Orchard-Post Acute Care in Whittier in July
2008, according to
a report by investigators from the California Department of Public Health.
As detailed in the report, the nursing home failed to follow policies and
procedures related to patient assessment, monitoring, and care. Specifically,
the facility failed to properly insert the patient’s feeding tube
and subsequently detect the related complications. After the patient complained
of severe abdominal pain, he was eventually taken to an emergency room,
where it was discovered that he was in septic shock. He died of complications
six days later.
Even more alarming, this is not the first time this nursing home has been
sanctioned by state regulators. The private, 162-bed center has been cited
63 times in the last five years, according to the
Los Angeles Times.
All nursing facilities in California are required to be in compliance with
applicable state and federal laws and regulations governing health care
facilities in order to ensure quality of care. The citation class and
amount of the fine depend upon the significance and severity of the substantiated
violation, as determined under California law.
In this case, the nursing home received a “AA” citation, the
most severe under California law, and a $75,000 fine.