Smoking in nursing homes can be a highly contested area, where a patient’s right to smoke is pitted against the facilities responsibility to ensure that protocols are in effect to protect the patients.
As a lawyer who has prosecuted smoking-related injuries and deaths, I see a definite correlation between patient injury and sloppy implementation of nursing home smoking policies.
I recently was forwarded an article regarding smoking violations from a client who’s mother suffered severe burns to her legs when her clothing caught fire as she smoked unsupervised. Obviously, my client is sensitive to the fact that lax smoking protocols are putting other patients at risk for serious harm.
I’d be surprised if a patient hasn’t already been affected by the dangerous conditions that were allowed to exist at Blossom South Nursing Home in New York. After an inspection conducted by Medicare authorities, serious safety violations were discovered at the facility including:
- Patients allowed to smoke in their rooms
- Patients permitted to smoke around oxygen devices
- Other flammable devices such as aerosol cans were kept within the range of the area where smoking was permitted
As a result of the findings that obviously put the safety of both the patients immediately within the area at risk— and all the other patients at the facility– the facility was fined $3,250 by the Department of Health & Human Services.
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