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Whittier Nursing Home Cited Residents Death

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.