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Heartland of West Ashley Rehabilitation and Nursing Center Abuse and Neglect Attorneys
One of the most challenging decisions that any family can make is to place a loved one in a nursing facility because they can no longer provide the care they need. Finding the right place should never be taken lightly for family members who expect that their loved one will be treated with dignity and respect. Realizing that your loved one has become a victim in a nursing home can be overwhelming and fighting back to hold caregivers responsible can be complicated. Because of that, many families will hire legal counsel to stop the abuse now. The South Carolina Nursing Home Law Center attorneys have represented hundreds of South Carolinians who were injured by their caregivers in nursing homes, assisted living centers and rehabilitation facilities and obtained financial compensation on their behalf.Heartland of West Ashley Rehabilitation and Nursing Center
This Nursing Home is a corporate Medicaid/Medicare-participating 'for profit' Center providing cares and services to residents of Charleston and Charleston County, South Carolina. The 125-certified bed Nursing Facility is located at:
1137 Sam Rittenburg Blvd
Charleston, SC 29407
In addition to providing skilled nursing care, Heartland of West Ashley Rehabilitation and Nursing Center provides short-term rehabilitation and long-term residential care along with dementia care, assisted living and independent living options.Financial Penalties and Violations
The state of South Carolina and the federal government are legally responsible to monitor each nursing home and impose monetary fines and deny payments through Medicare if serious violations have been identified. These penalties are typically imposed when the violation is severe and harmed or could have harmed a resident. Over the last three years, investigators have fined this Nursing Home $9750 on September 27, 2017. Additional information about fines and penalties can be found on the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control website concerning Heartland of West Ashley rehabilitation and Nursing Center.Charleston South Carolina Nursing Home Resident Safety Concerns
The state of South Carolina and the federal government nursing home regulatory agencies regularly update the national nursing facility database system. The Medicare.gov information contains a historical list of health violations, safety concerns, incident inquiries, opened investigations, filed complaints, and dangerous hazards of every facility in the United States.
Currently, Heartland of West Ashley Rehabilitation and Nursing Center maintains an overall one out of five available star rating in the Medicare star rating summary system compared to all other nursing homes nationwide. This rating includes one of five stars for health inspection problems, three of five stars for staffing issues, and four of five stars for quality measures. The Charleston County nursing home neglect attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center have found numerous safety concerns, violations and deficiencies at this nursing facility that include:
- Failure to Immediately Notify the Resident, the Resident's Doctor or Family Member of a Change in the Resident's Condition Including a Decline in Their Health or Injury
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated September 29, 2016, the state investigator documented the facility's failure "to ensure the physician, family or a responsible party for [the resident] was notified of a change in behavior." The deficient practice by the nursing staff involved one resident.
The investigator also documented a further failure "to notify the family or responsible party for [the resident] of a change in medication and a urinary tract infection." The investigator reviewed the resident's Nurses Notes (May 7, 2016) that read "numerous times throughout the shift the patient was out of the bed, removing bed linens and putting the dirty linens on the floor and that would get back in the bed on a bare mattress and cover up with the sheet and blanket." The resident "was noted to remove pull up briefs after being saturated with urine and drainage from the incision and throw them on the floor and get back in bed naked on a bare mattress and cover up the sheet." The resident "was witnessed using fingers to manipulate the incision open." The resident was "loud and rude to the staff." The resident allowed only one nursing staff member "to apply dressing to the incision once and then the patient removed the dressing [and] refused another [dressing] to be placed." The resident "would interrupt the nursing staff during care for their roommate."
A Licensed Practical Nurse providing the resident care was interviewed on September 28, 2016, and was asked: "if the physician and the family [or] responsible party had been notified of the behaviors." The LPN responded, "No, I thought everyone was aware of [the resident's] behaviors." The investigator then interviewed the Administrator a couple of hours later and "asked for a copy of the Notification/Change in Status Policy." The Administrator responded, "We do not have a policy om notification, we just follow the federal regulation for notification or any changes in the resident status."
A review of the resident's laboratory report on September 28, 2016, confirmed that "the resident had a positive urinalysis culture." Other documentation shows that the resident was taking medication by mouth to treat a urinary tract infection. However, the state investigator documented that "there was no evidence of family notification of a change in the condition." The Director of Nursing stated that the facility was "unable to locate family notification" documentation and stated that "the family should have been notified of new medications when it is given." The Director also stated "I do not see it" in the resident's electronic medical records.
- Failure to Provide a Safe, Appropriate Administration of Intravenous Fluids for a Resident When Needed
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated December 15, 2017, the state investigator documented the facility's failure to "ensure that IV [intravenous] PICC line fluids were administered with professional standards of practice." The South Carolina State Board of Nursing Advisory Opinion states that "the LPN may not give medications directly into the vein (intravenous push) or insert medication via an external catheter site." However, during an interview with the Director of Nursing on December 14, 2017, the Director stated that LPNs "could give medications through PICC lines as long as they have taken a class and obtained certification."
The Director "was asked to provide documentation and certification on all LPNs who documented that they had completed medicated push [training]." The Director "was able to provide a certification certificate for [one LPN] that documented completing IV push [training]. When asked about the remaining three nurses, [the Director] provided incomplete and inaccurate Skills and Techniques and Medication Management Skills evaluations.
- Failure to Provide, Implement and Enforce Infection Prevention and Control Programs
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated December 15, 2017, the state investigator documented the facility's failure to "ensure a Certified Nursing Assistant [CNA] washed her hands after coughing and while assisting [a resident] with eating" that was witnessed during an observation made during dining. Additionally, there was a failure to ensure a resident's "glucometer was sanitized after use and before storage" to ensure the glucometer sanitizing process.
The investigator had observed a Certified Nursing Assistant cough "in her hand seven separate times and did not wash hands." The CNA "was coughing and covering her mouth while assisting and feeding [the resident]." The investigator interviewed the Director of Nursing on December 11, 2017, who stated that they "would expect the CNA if coughing, [to] use hand sanitizers or wash hands." The Director "then sent the CNA home [for being sick], and that [they] will get someone else to feed the resident."
- Failure to Provide Adequate Fluids to Maintain a Resident's Health
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated December 15, 2017, the state investigator documented that the facility had failed to ensure two residents' "weekly weights were completed for four weeks after admission, per the facility policy and procedure." The deficient practice by the nursing staff involved two residents "reviewed for nutrition."
In one incident, a review of a resident's medical records dated December 12, 2017, revealed "the weights recorded in the Electronic Medical Record for the submission on November 18, 2020, July 10, 2018… 150 pounds, (Bed Scale), December 6, 2017… 152 pounds (standard scale), and December 7, 2017: 152 pounds.
A review of the resident's care plan showed "nutritional status as evidenced by potential weight changes related to altered G.I. (gastrointestinal) function and modify diet." The investigator interviewed the Director of Nursing on the morning of December 15, 2017, who stated that "the policy and procedure for obtaining weights for a new admission are that the resident is weighed upon admission and then weekly for four weeks." The Director "verified that the weekly weights were not complete on this resident per facility policy and procedure."
- Failure to Develop and Implement Policies and Procedures for Fluids and Pneumonia Vaccinations
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated December 15, 2017, the state investigator documented the facility's failure "to develop and implement policies and procedures for immunization of residents against pneumococcal disease following current national standards of practices." The investigator also said that "the 13-Valent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PVC13) was not offered to [one resident] reviewed for immunization."
The state investigator interviewed the Unit Manager/Registered Nurse who stated that they "were unaware of this requirement and acknowledge at the facility did not have a procedure/policy in place to meet this requirement."
- Failure to Ensure That Services Provided by the Nursing Facility Meet Professional Standards of Quality
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated June 11, 2015, the state investigator documented the facility's failure "to obtain clarification orders for medication for [two residents] reviewed for medications." In one incident, the resident had an order for a nebulizer treatment "every six hours as needed for shortness of breath." The investigator stated that there "was no documentation that the clarification order was obtained as to the frequency of the nebulizer treatment or that the physician had verified the orders upon return from the hospital."
A Registered Nurse interviewed by the state investigator on June 10, 2015, stated "if the resident was out of the facility less than 24 hours, then the previous orders were resumed. The RN further stated that the physician should have been called for clarification and one of the orders discontinued. The RN verified there was no documentation that the physician was called to verify the orders and no clarification order in the record."
The state investigator interviewed the facility Director of Nursing who stated that "the orders remain in the system when a resident goes out to the hospital and they should be confirmed with the physician upon return." The Director further stated that "the facility did not have a policy for re-admissions but follow the same policy as for new admissions." Because of the Director statement, the investigator reviewed the facility's policy for a new admission that read in part "notify Physician of admission and obtain or verify orders."
- Failure to Provide Proper Treatment to Residents with Feeding Tubes to Prevent Problems
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated June 11, 2015, the state investigator documented the facility's failure "to practice infection control and follow facility policy or practice in doing the procedure for [a resident who was observed undergoing a gastronomy tube flush]."
The state investigator observed a Registered Nurse performing a medication administration and tube flush on a resident occurring on June 9, 2015, at 4:05 PM. "The nurse prepared the table and equipment to perform the procedure, washed [their] hands and applied gloves. While trying to administer the first 30 mL (cubic centimeters) of water, the water would not flow into the tube. The water was removed from the tube, tube clamped, resident re-positioned, and head of the bed elevated."
However, it was observed that the Registered Nurse did not change their gloves or wash their hands and instead "reinserted the syringe, added 30 mL of water, administered the medication mixed with water, flushed another 30 mL of water, clamped the tube, and removed gloves. The nurse washed [their] hands, picked up the soiled towel in hand, went into the hall, charted the medication, went back into the resident's room without knocking, placed soiled linen into a plastic bag, lowered the bed, picked up bags, and left the room without washing [their] hands." The state investigator interviewed the Assistant Director of Nursing who confirmed the observations.
- Failure to Provide Appropriate Care for Residents Who Are Continent or Incontinent of Bowel/Bladder
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated December 15, 2017, the state investigator documented the facility's failure to "ensure appropriate catheter care for one [resident]. During an observation of catheter care, the state investigator noted that the facility "staff did not anchor the catheter nor replace the foreskin." The investigator observed a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) providing catheter care and retracted the resident's foreskin. "Continuing to witness care, the CNA was observed to wiped down the resident's catheter twice without anchoring the catheter. During the cleaning of the catheter tube, the CNA asked the resident if [they were] pulling too hard." The resident "responded no. After cleaning the care, the CNA did not replace the foreskin."
The investigator interviewed the CNA a few hours later who "confirmed the foreskin had not been replaced and [they] had not been taught to replace the foreskin." The investigator reviewed the facility policy titled: Catheter Care: Indwelling Catheter that read in part:
"Male: If uncircumcised, retract foreskin then proceed. If circumcised, reposition foreskin to a natural position; avoid placing tension on the catheter."
- Failure to Ensure That Every Resident's Drug Regimen Is Free from Unnecessary Medications
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated June 11, 2015, the state investigator documented the facility's failure to administer medications "per physician's orders on multiple dates for [a resident]." A review of the resident's medical records shows that the resident was receiving medication daily upon physician's orders and that tracking was done to correlate how the drug was administered by Physician orders. However, certain parts of the documentation were left blank, making it impossible to determine if the resident was receiving the right drug at the right dose at the right time by physician's orders.
Was your loved one was injured, mistreated, abused, or died unexpectedly from neglect while living in a nursing home in South Carolina. If so, we encourage you to contact the Charleston nursing home abuse lawyers at Nursing Home Law Center at (800) 926-7565 now to schedule a free case review to discuss a financial compensation claim to recover your damages. Our legal team accepts every wrongful death lawsuit and personal injury claim for compensation through contingency fee agreements. This arrangement postpones your need to pay for our legal services until we have successfully resolved your case in a negotiated settlement or jury trial. Our network of attorneys provides every client a "No Win/No-Fee" guarantee. This promise ensures you owe us nothing if we are unable to obtain compensation to recover your damages. All Information you share with us about neglect or abuse at Heartland of West Ashley Rehab and Nursing will remain confidential.