Bakersfield Nursing Home Neglect Attorneys
Protecting the Elderly Against Elder Abuse
Operation Guardians, a multi-agency task force that performed surprise inspections in several California nursing homes, specifically looked for signs of nursing home abuse and neglect. When the task force performed a similar inspection on April 28, 2011 at the Bakersfield Healthcare Center nursing home, they found several serious violations, which showed that the facility was not providing adequate care to all of its residents.
This issue of elder abuse is not exclusive to Bakersfield and Kern County. Elder abuse and neglect happens all over the country and the best way to protect your loves one from elder abuse is to thoroughly research the institution you place on having your loved one live at.
However, in many instances, victims are afraid to speak out and because of this, perpetrators are not held accountable to the hard they have cause the elderly. If your elderly loved one has experienced elder abuse or neglect, our Bakersfield personal injury lawyers are here to help you set things right and get you the compesation you deserve.
Deficient Care in Nursing Homes
The task force's report cited numerous examples of deficient care. The medical doctor who performed the inspection as part of the task force said:
"The chaos in facility operation was apparent."
She suggested that one of the reasons why the facility was in chaos was because of the excessive turnover of administrative personnel. At the end of the report, she recommended that immediate steps be taken to fix the multitude of care problems at the facility.
Examples of deficient care found by the professionals who inspected the facility include:
- Licensed nurses at the Bakersfield facility failed to comply with basic job requirements and physicians' orders..
- Many patients were transferred to acute care hospitals without valid reasons.
- The nursing staff did not follow care plans.
- There were not enough nurses on staff to meet the needs of the residents.
- Much of the care was provided by licensed vocational nurses who were not being properly supervised by registered nurses. Licensed vocational nurses can only gather data. They are not allowed to perform resident assessments.
- At least one of the residents was suffering from dehydration.
- Another patient was suffered from a pressure ulcer that was avoidable.
- There was not an adequate pain management plan in place for a patient who was clearly suffering. Additionally, she was allegedly receiving hospice care, but there were no hospice notes found in her records.
- The notes given by the regularly visiting physicians were illegible or "devoid of meaningful content."
- One patient had a blank Physician’s Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) directive form signed by a doctor. The medical director of the facility was the physician who signed the blank form.
There were many other serious issues at Bakersfield Healthcare Center.
For example, the surprise inspection team found the following concerns with one of the patients who had the head of his bed laid flat while receiving gastrostomy tube feedings that require a bed elevation of 30 to 40 degrees. The raised elevation can help prevent aspiration.
Additionally, the patient had a gown saturated with urine. The resident's heels had pressure ulcers akin to a deep tissue injury that could have been prevented by placing a pillow under the patient’s calves. Additionally, his care plan was not specific to his needs. He was not receiving range of motion exercises, nor was he given dental services.
Also, the nursing summary makes a mention of the patient speaking when the resident is physically unable to speak.
Health and Safety Issues With Nursing Homes
Debris from the ceiling in the lobby was apparently falling onto draped fabric. The exit doors were also blocked by equipment.
Wheelchairs blocked hallway rooms. There was an exposed area around the exhaust fan that could allow rodents to enter the building. Hand sanitizer dispensers were either broken or empty.
Some rooms had debris on the floor and the shower rooms were unsanitary.
In summation, the overall condition of the building was described as "deplorable."
What Are Rights of Nursing Home Patients?
If you believe that your loved one has suffered emotionally, physically or financially as a result of elder abuse or nursing home neglect, please contact the experienced Bakersfield nursing home abuse attorneys at Bisnar Chase for a free, comprehensive and confidential consultation.
Victims and their families deserve justice and fair compensation for the injuries and damages suffered as a result of such negligence and wrongdoing.