legal resources necessary to hold negligent facilities accountable.
Fort Smith Health and Rehabilitation Center Abuse and Neglect Attorneys
Seniors and the disabled are often subjected to abuse and neglect in nursing facilities, leaving family member shaken at the thought of mistreatment. In many incidents, the injury is the result of untrained nursing staff or a lack of supervision. Other events involve resident-to-resident abuse or sexual assault. If your loved one is the victim of abuse, the Arkansas Nursing Home Law Center attorneys can help. Our team of lawyers has helped many Sebastian County nursing home residents resolve their claim to ensure they are adequately compensated for their damages in those who are responsible for causing harm are held legally accountable. Let us begin working on your case today.
Fort Smith Health and Rehabilitation Center
This long-term care center is a "for-profit" 117-certified-bed Home providing cares to residents of Fort Smith and Sebastian County, Arkansas. The facility is located at:
5301 Wheeler Avenue
Fort Smith, Arkansas, 72901
Financial Penalties and Violations
The investigators and surveyors for Medicare and the state of Arkansas have the legal authority to impose monetary fines or denied payment for Medicare services any time a nursing home is cited for serious violations of regulations and rules. Within the last three years, state and federal nursing home regulatory agencies levied two monetary penalties against Fort Smith Health and Rehab including a $10,608 fine on October 23, 2017, and a $22,804 fine on February 9, 2016. Also, the facility received eighteen formally filed complaints and was denied payment for Medicare services on February 9, 2016, due to substandard care. Additional documentation about fines and penalties can be found on the Arkansas Adult Protective Services website concerning this nursing facility.
Fort Smith Arkansas Nursing Home Residents Safety Concerns
To be fully informed on the level of care nursing homes provide, families routinely research the Medicare.gov and the Arkansas Department of Public Health website database systems for a complete list of filed complaints, health violations, opened investigations, safety concerns, incident inquiries, and dangerous hazards. This information provides valuable content to make a well-informed decision of where to place a loved one who requires the highest level of health care and hygiene assistance.
According to Medicare, this facility maintains an overall rating of one out of five stars, including one out of five stars concerning health inspections, three out of five stars for staffing issues and two out of five stars for quality measures. The Sebastian County neglect attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center have found serious deficiencies and safety concerns at Fort Smith Health and Rehabilitation Center that include:
- Failure to Ensure Residents Receive Proper Treatment to Prevent New Bedsores or Heal Existing Pressure Sores
- Failure to Provide Care to Prevent the Development of Presure Sore – AR State Inspector
- Failure to Provide Every Resident an Environment Free of Accident Hazards and Provide Adequate Supervision to Prevent Avoidable Accidents
- Failure to Provide Proper Treatment to Residents with a Feeding Tube to Prevent Problems
- Failure to Ensure There is an Effective Pest Control Program to Prevent Mice, Insects, and Other Pests
- Failure to Control Insects and Other Pets – AR State Inspector
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated June 22, 2018, the state investigators documented that the facility had failed to "ensure a pressure sore was identified, reported and treatment was initiated to promote healing and prevent further deterioration and heels were offloaded to prevent the development of pressure sores." The deficient practice by the nursing staff involved one resident who was "developing pressure sores. This malpractice had the potential to affect 39 residents who were at risk of developing pressure sores."
The incident involved a resident who had "two Stage III pressure ulcers and one unstageable pressure ulcer." In reviewing the resident's Treatment Administration Record, the state investigator found "no nurses initials indicating" a skin audit was completed. And, there was "no documentation of a physician order" for treatment.
The investigator observed the resident "in bed with the left heel sticking out from under the covers. There was a dark discolored area on the heel approximately 4.0 cm x 4.0 cm with no bandage or dressing and no heel protectors." Over the next two days, the resident was observed "in bed, and the left heel did not have a dressing on the discolored area. The resident's heels were not offloaded and did not have heel protectors on them."
The state surveyor asked the Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) providing the resident care to come into the resident's room and look at the resident's left heel. The "LPN pulled the covers back and lifted the resident's foot. She stated, it has a blister there. The LPN was asked, 'Does he have an order for [treatment].'" The LPN responded that they had not seen an order. A few minutes later, the surveyor asked the Director of Nurses "to come into the resident's room to look at the resident's heel." The Director lifted the resident's foot stating that "it is a pressure sore." When asked to provide a copy of the most recent body audit and treatment order, the Director "called the Treatment Nurse and asked her for the most recent body audit and treatment order for his left heel." The Director "stated to the treatment nurse that he has a pressure sore."
Six minutes later, the Director called the Treatment Nurse again "and asked for the most recent body audit. She stated it is on the 16th, his last shower sheet." Two minutes later, the LPN Unit Manager "provided a copy of the resident/shower sheet the documented: No new issue June 16, 2018. There are no current orders for wound care to the left heel."
The investigator interviewed a Registered Nurse the following day and asked: "do you do the weekly body audits?" The RN replied, "No, the nurses do their own." When asked if they knew about the resident's wound before yesterday, the RN replied "No, I did not and I rub lotion on him every day for his itching. I do not believe it was there on Monday. The RN was told that it was there on Monday" after the survey team arrived.
In a separate summary statement of deficiencies dated January 9, 2018, the state investigator documented the facility's failure "to ensure turning and repositioning was provided and toileting or incontinence checks were provided every 30 minutes in accordance with the Plan of Care to reduce pressure and minimize the potential for the development of pressure ulcers." The deficient practice by the nursing staff involved a resident who "was at risk for pressure ulcer development. This failed practice has the potential to affect all 27 resident's who were at risk for pressure ulcer development."
According to Medicare and Medicaid Services, repositioning is required "every two hours or more frequently dependent on the resident's condition and specific needs. Depending on the individualized assessment, more frequent repositioning may be warranted for individuals who are at higher risk for pressure ulcers and pressure injury development or who show evidence that repositioning at two-hour intervals is inadequate."
The investigator reviewed the resident's Plan of Care revised on December 18, 2017, that shows of the resident "has the potential for impairment to skin integrity and pressure ulcer." The resident is to be checked every hour "for incontinence in providing good peri-care."
Between 2:55 PM and 5:05 PM on the date of observation, "the surveyor continually observed the resident who was sitting in her wheelchair in his room of the size close. During this time frame, one Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) went into the room to ask the resident what he wanted for dinner, then left the room. There was no attempt by the CNA to reposition the resident, and no other staff had entered the room to reposition the resident, check for incontinence or offer to assist with toileting during a two-hour time frame. There was a urinal enclosed in a plastic bag in the resident's room, but it was not within reach of the resident. The resident was in a regular wheelchair with no pressure reducing cushion or pad in the seat of the wheelchair."
The state surveyor interviewed the Director of Nurses who "was asked how often the resident was supposed to be checked for incontinence, turned and reposition." The Director responded, "at least every two hours."
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated June 22, 2018, the state investigators documented that the facility had failed to "ensure the environment was free of potential accident hazards as possible." The deficient practice by the nursing staff involved a failure "to ensure furniture, mattresses, and doors were free of torn, sharp areas to prevent potential injuries." The incident involved residents "who are at risk for falls and… Are at risk for skin tears. These failed practices had the potential to affect ten residents who are at risk for falls and thirteen residents who are at risk for skin tears."
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated April 7, 2017, the state investigator noted the facility's failure to "ensure water flushes were administered at the volume ordered by the physician to prevent potential hypovolemia [a condition where the liquid portion of plasma and blood is too high]." The investigator documented that this failed practice "had the potential to affect four residents who received continuous tube feedings."
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated April 7, 2017, the state investigator documented the facility's failure to "ensure an effective pest control program was in place to prevent the infestation of roaches and flies in [one kitchen] and resident's rooms in two of four halls." The investigator documented that these failed practices "had the potential to affect all 110 residents who resided in the facility."
Observations were made of the kitchen "next to the entry door, above the coffee preparation table," where there was a "small roach that crawled from the ceiling down a piece of conduit piping and into the electrical outlet mounted on the wall." A few minutes later at the same location but "beside the paper folder holders, there was a roach that crawled from the electrical outlet mounted on the wall. The roach was shown to the Dietary Manager, and she stated, 'Keep that table (coffee preparation table) out away from the wall. She was unable to kill the roach, which crawled on the wall behind the table."
The investigator reviewed the Grievance Tracking Logs that showed that "roaches were found in a chair in the resident's room. The exterminator came out to fumigate the room. The facility chair was thrown away." In December 2016, "roaches were found in the staff break room in the Northeast nurse's station. The exterminator came to the facility and sprayed/treated." The exterminator also "treated the kitchen, laundry, closets, etc." and will continue to monitor. On February 28, 2017, the resident stated that "there are roaches in his room. The exterminator was called and treated the rooms, kitchen entryways."
Abused at Fort Smith Health and Rehabilitation Center? Our Skilled Attorneys can Help
If you, or your family, believe that caregivers victimized your loved one while a resident at Fort Smith Health and Rehab, call the Arkansas nursing home abuse attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center at (800) 926-7565 today. Our network of attorneys fights aggressively on behalf of Sebastian County victims of mistreatment living in long-term facilities including nursing homes in Fort Smith. Our skilled attorneys can file and successfully resolve your victim case involving nursing home abuse or neglect and hold those that caused your loved one harm financially accountable. Contact us now to schedule a free case review to discuss how to obtain justice and resolve a financial compensation claim. Let us fight aggressively on your behalf to ensure your rights are protected.
Our network of attorneys accepts all nursing home abuse lawsuits, personal injury claims, medical malpractice cases, and wrongful death suits through a contingency fee agreement. This arrangement postpones your requirement to pay for legal services until after we have resolved your situation through a negotiated out of court settlement or jury trial award. We provide all clients a "No Win/No-Fee" Guarantee, meaning you owe us nothing if we are unable to obtain compensation on your behalf. Let our attorneys begin working on your behalf today to ensure your family receives adequate compensation from those who caused your harm. All information you share with our law offices will remain confidential.