On June 9, 2011, the Illinois Department of Health issued a “Type A” violation and $25,000 fine against the Emeritus at Prospect Heights Nursing Home, in Prospect Heights, Illinois. The sanctions are in response to an incident that occurred on February 22, where a male resident wandered out of the home and was struck and killed by an SUV.
According to a survey from April 14, multiple eyewitnesses saw the incident occur. Those from outside the nursing home said the man spent a significant amount of time wandering in the street before he was hit. Despite having an “alert departure” bracelet on his right ankle, no one from the nursing home staff noticed his leaving. The nurse that had placed the anklet on him failed to notify the attending physician about the bracelet, as required by law.
Along with this disturbing and unacceptable incident, Emeritus was also found to have several other dangerous deficiencies. Recent surveys discovered that Emeritus rarely checks its “crash carts,” or emergency stand-alone medical stations.
“Crash carts” are an essential component of any nursing home, since they provide emergency medical equipment in the case of a heart attack, or other life-threatening situation. By law, they should be checked and monitored every day. In April, however, Emeritus checked the contests of its crash carts on only seven days.
Surveyors also found that nurses frequently didn’t follow proper hand-washing procedures, particularly after handling garbage, performing genital washing, and touching patients’ shoes.
For such a small (30 bed) facility, that prides itself on seniors’ independent living, I was frankly quite surprised to see so many serious violations. However, I shouldn’t be too shocked, given that there have been several instances in the past years of Emeritus homes not being up to standards.
If you or your loved one was abused or mistreated at an Emeritus home, we would honor the opportunity to speak with you regarding your legal rights.
Elderly Man Hit, Killed by SUV Outside Nursing Home Chicago Tribune February 23, 2011 .