Even Stiff Fines Can’t Force Nursing Homes To Take Necessary Steps To Prevent Pressure Ulcers

dollarWhen nursing homes take simple, preventative steps such as: turning patients, keeping them clean, and providing adequate nutrition and hydration; they can greatly decrease the incidence of pressure sores at their facilities.  However, even though the preventative steps are well known, many nursing facilities simply fail to implement the necessary care that patients require to function optimally.

I was particularly disturbed when I came across an article in the Arizona Daily Star regarding a Kindred-owned nursing home that has been repeatedly failed to provide sufficient wound care for its patients.  In fact, Villa Campana Health Care Center was most recently fined by state authorities $10,000 following a horrific chain of events involving a patient who was admitted to the facility last fall.

Within a month of entering Villa Campana, a patient developed a pressure sore on their buttocks.  Despite the staff’s documentation of the wound, little care was provided at the wound progressed to the point that bone was involved and an infection known as osteomyelitis ensued.  Eventually, the patient required multiple surgeries to treat the advanced pressure sore including a debridement surgery to remove portions of the coccyx, sacrum and surrounding tissue.

The most recent fine follows other violations at the facility including:

  • A 28 day suspensiononnew admissions to the facility implemented by Medicare
  • In September, 2009 the facility was fined $68,000 for non-compliance with applicable regulations
  • In December, 2009 Arizona officials fined Villa Campana $11,525 for the violation of 33 state rules pertaining to the monitoring and treatment of patients’ pressure sores

Government officials have picked up on Villa Compana’s deficiencies and have categorized the facility in the one-star category– the lowest rating according to Medicare’s, Nursing Home Compare site.  Similarly, the Arizona Department of Health Rates Villa Campana as ‘D’ in quality– the state lowest rating for nursing homes.

Certainly, the fact that this Kindred facility has such an extensive history regarding the inadequate prevention of patient’s pressure sores should give rise for concern.  Pressure sores and osteomyelitisare prime examples of nursing home negligence and commonly give rise to lawsuits against the facility where the wound developed.  A lawsuit for the development of a pressure sore can recover damages for medical expenses and the pain that accompany the wounds.

Learn more about the laws applicable to Arizona nursing homes here.
Click on the links for information on nursing homes in Phoenix, Tucson and Peoria

Related Nursing Homes Abuse Blog Entries:

Arizona Nursing Home Fined For Multiple Safety Violations

Lawsuit Alleges: One Week In The Nursing Home Results In Significant Deterioration Of Pressure Sores & Sepsis

$5 Million In Punitive Damages Awarded To Widow In Bed Sore Case Against Nursing Home & Hospital

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