Feroleto Law, Buffalo NY

Disturbing Post, Bypass If You Prefer

Many families wrestle with the decision to call a nursing home attorney or personal injury attorney due to nursing home neglect or nursing home abuse of a loved one. What would you do? On September 21st, 2019, maggots were discovered in a resident’s wound at Premier Genesee Center Nursing and Rehabilitation located at 278 Bank Street in Batavia, in Genesee County, New York. Premier is one of the nation’s poorly rated nursing homes across the country according to data compiled in August 2019 by the Long-Term Care Community Coalition.

A Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) who was hired through a staffing agency discovered the maggots on September 21st, 2019. The nurse stated in an interview that she attempted to notify the Nursing Supervisor many times via phone, paging, and text message with no response. The day shift report sheet was unable to be located for September 21st. Why was there missing record?

 Further, the physician was not made aware maggots were observed in the resident’s wound. Agency nurses per facility policy are not allowed to call physicians for notification of issues. Nursing Supervisors, Unit Managers, the Director of Nursing and Assistant Director of Nursing are the only ones allowed to and can choose to make that call. 

Nursing homes are rated on a scale of one to five stars with one-star being the lowest rating. Ratings are based on staffing levels, health inspection outcomes and a range of quality measures. New York State Department of Health’s website –NYS Health Profiles—where you can find and compare health care providers, gives Premier Genesee an overall rating of one star. The Medicare Nursing Home Compare website gives Premier Genesee a two-star rating.

The facility was cited on October 16th, 2019 for violations of effective pest control maintenance, notification of changes (such as a change in condition, or treatment), and quality of care.

A Department of Health survey was completed the date the citation was issued in response to a family member’s complaint.  While the maggots were discovered in the resident’s wound on September 21st, 2019, neither her granddaughter nor the attending physician were notified until September 25th, 2019.  If you suspect nursing home negligence, or lack of attention causing injury to your mother, father, grand parent or loved one, you should consider calling in your state Department of Health, and reaching out to a nursing home injury attorney for advice. Many families are concerned about what will happen to their loved ones if they complain about legitimate errors, danger or neglect of their patient.

On September 23rd, 2019 a wound consultant physician told investigators that after he removed dead tissue from the wounds he did not have time to apply a new dressing. He expected a nurse would complete the task. The wound was left uncovered for a time period of 4-5 hours which provided ample time for a fly to lay eggs causing the maggots. The lack of communication, and assuming someone else will complete the procedure allowed the crawly bugs to inhabit the senior’s wound. The physician told investigators he had observed flies in a couple rooms but could not recall which rooms.

Unbelievably, this caused maggots to be discovered in the resident’s wound a second time on September 25th when a nurse observed the maggots wiggling between the patient’s toes.

The facility’s Director of Nursing stated she was made aware there were maggots in the resident’s wound on September 25th, 2019 when she became aware of a progress note written by the LPN that discovered the maggots.  There should be more done than having the Director of Nursing, notice this unsanitary and dangerous condition in a progress note, days later.

During the investigation, the Director of Nursing called the time frame of the dressing being removed by the physician and the reapplication of the dressing hours later, “disappointing” and described the wound being uncovered for 4 to 5 hours as “unacceptable.”

The investigation also revealed that the facility did not maintain an effective pest control program so that the facility was free from insects, and household pests. Specifically, flies were observed in resident rooms, in the first-floor main dining room, the Rehabilitation Unit, the 3rd floor unit, in the elevator, and in the kitchen. In addition; window screens were ajar, and doors were ill fitting leaving a gap to the outside which allows pest to enter the facility. This pest-control problem had been continuing for several months.

The resident was transferred to another facility. The family has retained an attorney and filed a complaint against the facility on December 19, 2019.

Many times, in nursing home injury and neglect cases, family members and loved ones tried their best in seeing proper care is provided to their loved ones. However, it is nearly impossible for family members to be at the nursing home or skilled facility at all times. It is vital the nursing homes in charge of caring for our loved ones follow the proper protocols and guidelines that are in place to prevent harm and injury from occurring. These facilities are being entrusted to provide the best care and support possible to our loved ones but often fall short of doing so.

Frequently, family members try to voice their concerns and advocate for their loved ones but family members find that their hands are tied by the facility administration. As in this case, the family member was not notified until four days later. Even then, the resident’s granddaughter stated she felt as if the staff were “downplaying” the seriousness of what happened to her grandmother. Families become frustrated because they feel the administration does not listen or properly respond to their reasonable requests.

This leaves families feeling powerless.

Nursing home abuse attorneys too often see injuries that are preventable if the nursing home followed well-established protocols and guidelines. Improper staffing or lack of necessary care can also cause injury to our seniors. This is an example of what can happen when nursing homes fail to properly staff their facilities and follow their own protocols and guidelines. Fortunately, in this case, the family retained the services of an attorney. If you suspect nursing home abuse, or neglect, which is harming your family member or a loved one, you should consider reporting the incident to the New York State Department of health, and contacting a nursing home injury attorney. You can confidentially discuss your concerns with nursing home injury attorneys at Feroleto law by calling 716-854-0700

Additional information related to nursing home care, and other resources for residents, their relatives, and care givers including a list of residents’ rights and helpful websites can be found at:https://www.medicare.gov/NursingHomeCompare/Resources/infoforresidents.html