There are many dangerous situations at nursing homes that can lead to serious injuries or illnesses. Some facilities fail to properly manage the pain level of their suffering patients. Others fail to properly control sanitation and health issues, which can result in potentially fatal infections. It is even common for nursing homes to use harmful physical restraints. Many of these hazardous conditions were found at the Winsor House Care Center in Vacaville.
On March 18, 2011, a surprise inspection was performed at the Winsor House Care Center by members of the Operation Guardians task force. During their tour of the facility, the inspectors reviewed the conditions of the building, the actions of the workers and the residents' living conditions. Here are some of their findings that are cause for serious concern.
Issues with the Facility
There are many potentially dangerous situations listed in the report. According to inspectors:
- Drawers of the treatment cart were unlocked. This is a safety issue.
- Several resident beds had half side rails in the middle of the bed frame. This is a form of restraint. The physician orders "did not include an order for half side rails or for a restraint."
- The oxygen storage had unsecured and poorly labeled oxygen tanks. This could pose an issue in the event of an emergency.
- Some of the rooms had damaged floor tiles, which could pose a serious tripping hazard.
- In some cases, emergency exits were blocked by wheelchairs or food carts.
- The shower room was dirty, posing a safety and infection issue.
Resident Care Issues
Here are four examples of residents at the facility and the care they were receiving:
- A resident was transferred to an acute care hospital for complications suffered after receiving the wrong medication at the facility. There was a lacked of detailed charting regarding the incident.
- One resident was suffering from severe, continuing weight loss. Inspectors believe this serious situation was directly linked to the facility's failure to provide proper denture care. The resident had improperly fitting dentures and the facility had failed to properly evaluate her for new dentures.
- On the day of the inspection, one resident cried throughout breakfast and lunch causing a disruption to the other residents. Her Care Plan showed absolutely no arrangement to evaluate or treat the troubled resident.
- Another resident was ordered to receive a speech screening and evaluation despite having no difficulty with swallowing or speaking. Additionally, it was not clear why the resident was still receiving 24-hour care when documentation showed that she had improved through physical therapy. Her Social Services documentation did not reflect plans for her discharge.
There were also a number of instances regarding a failure to provide proper pain management as part of end-of-life care. Also, many of the residents were receiving antibiotics, which may indicate infection issues at the facility.
Other Concerns with the Nursing Home
The facility administrator consulted with the facility's legal counsel before choosing to deny inspectors the ability to review the Wound Care Log, the Infection Control Log or the Incident/Accident Log. Inspectors did, however, review the treatment book, which showed several blank days for many residents. This indicates that treatments had not been performed on those days. There were also a number of days in which the workers made medication errors. It is unclear if those mistakes were reported to the appropriate authorities. Last but not the least, staffing levels were below the minimum required 3.2 hours per resident day on one of the four randomly reviewed days.
Protecting the Rights of Nursing Home Residents
If you worry that your loved one has suffered injury or harm at the Winsor House Care Center or another potentially dangerous nursing home, please do not hesitate to discuss your rights with an experienced California nursing home attorney. The skilled Vacaville nursing home abuse lawyers at our law firm have a long and successful track record of holding negligent nursing homes accountable. Please contact us today to find out how we can help you and your family obtain justice and fair compensation for your losses.