Santa Ana California Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys

Santa Ana Nursing Home Neglect LawyerEach day, thousands of society’s most frail elderly individuals suffer severe pain and injury from preventable falls, facility-acquired bedsores or abuse at the hands of their caregivers. Even though many nursing homes advertise that they provide residents high-quality skilled nursing care, the Santa Ana nursing home neglect attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC have seen a significant rise in the volume of cases involving abuse and neglect. Our law firm is handled claims and lawsuits on behalf of elderly victims living in overcrowded facilities that lack adequate staffing to meet the needs of their residents.

As the county seat of Orange County, Santa Ana has a population of more than 330,000 residents of which nearly 45,000 are senior citizens. Many of these elderly retirees residing nursing facilities all throughout the Los Angeles area. Because the baby boomer generation is aging, there will likely be many more residents in the years ahead who choose to stay in Southern California to enjoys many amenities.

Usually, every senior will reach a stage in their life where they become dependent on others to provide care for their basic life necessities that might require skilled nursing care provided in a nursing home. At this level, the nursing staff ensures that the resident receives the right medication at the right time and has all of their health and hygiene needs provided in a safe and loving environment. Unfortunately, there is a wide spectrum to the levels of acceptable nursing and long-term care throughout the Los Angeles area.

Santa Ana Nursing Home Resident Health Concerns

Many facilities in the nursing home industry are operated by corporations and organizations placing profits ahead of the health and safety concerns of their residents. In order to provide elderly victims protection, our Santa Ana elder abuse attorneys constantly review, assess and evaluate the information provided in national nursing home databases including Medicare.gov. We study data involving opened investigations, safety concerns, health violations and filed complaints against facilities statewide. Family members often use this information before deciding where to place a loved one who requires the best quality medical and hygiene care.

Comparing Santa Ana Area Nursing Facilities

Our Southern California nursing home lawyers have compiled a list below outlining nursing facilities throughout the Santa Ana area maintaining below standard ratings compared to other facilities throughout the United States. In addition, our law firm has listed our primary concerns by showing detailed information on specific cases occurring in these facilities that are of concern to state and federal regulators, surveyors, investigators and family members with loved ones residing in nursing homes.

Information on California Nursing Home Abuse & Negligence Lawsuits

Our attorneys have compiled data from settlements and jury verdicts across California to give you an idea as to how cases are valued. Learn more about the cases below:

FRENCH PARK CARE CENTER
600 E Washington Avenue
Santa Ana, California 92701
(714) 973-1656

A “For-Profit” 202-certified bed Medicaid/Medicare-participating facility

Overall Rating – 2 out of 5 possible stars

2 star rating

Primary Concerns –

Failure to Ensure Residents Are Provided a Safe Environment Free of Serious Medication Errors

In a summary statement of deficiencies dated 12/07/2015, a notation was made during an annual licensure and certification survey by a state investigator concerning the facility’s failure to “ensure one [resident at the facility] was free from a significant medication error.”

The deficient practice was noted by the state investigator revealing that the resident “failed to receive dronaderone [a medication used to help the heart beat normally] as ordered by the resident’s physician because the medication was missing. This posed the risk of the resident having a life-threatening irregular heartbeat with the potential for death.”

An observation with the facility’s Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) at 9:35 AM on 12/02/2015 during a medication administration for a resident indicate that the LVN stated “The dronaderone was not available for administration and the resident did not receive the dronaderone.

A review of the resident’s medical records indicate that the resident has a specific diagnosis that reveals “an abnormal firing of electrical impulses causing the atria (the top chambers in the heart) to quiver (or fibrillate). People with [this type of medical condition] may experience one or more the following symptoms:

  • General fatigue
  • Rapid and irregular heartbeat
  • Fluttering or thumping in the chest
  • Dizziness, shortness of breath and anxiety
  • Weakness, faintness or confusion
  • Fatigue when exercising, sweating
  • Chest pain or pressure (chest pain or pressure is a medical emergency).”

Our Santa Ana nursing home neglect attorneys recognize a failing to follow protocols to ensure that proper medication is on hand for administration has the potential placing the health and well-being of the resident an immediate jeopardy. The deficient practice by the nursing staff and administration at French Park Care Center violates both state and federal regulations. The failure might be considered negligence or mistreatment.

COUNTRY VILLA PLAZA CONVALESCENT CENTER
1209 Hemlock Way
Santa Ana, California 92707
(714) 546-1966

A “For-Profit” 145-certified bed Medicaid/Medicare-participating facility

Overall Rating – 1 out of 5 possible stars

1 star rating

Primary Concerns –

Failure to Provide Residents an Environment Free of Accident Hazards and Adequate Supervision to Prevent an Avoidable Accident from Occurring

In a summary statement of deficiencies dated 04/22/2015, a complaint investigation was opened against the facility for its failure to “ensure staff were trained in proper transfer techniques when transferring the residents from the bed to the wheelchair, and to provide the necessary device needed for [one resident at the facility] to prevent falls which resulted in an injury.

The complaint investigation was initiated after a resident “was transferred incorrectly from the bed to the wheelchair. This resulted in [the resident] sustaining a fall with a cut to his right eyebrow.”

The state surveyor performing investigation review the resident’s annual MDS (Minimum Data Set) revealing of the resident “was totally dependent on one person for assistance with transfers and walking.” The surveyor also reviewed the resident’s Plan of Care that revealed a December 28 Care Plan Problem noting: “interventions included to assist the resident with transfers and mobility as needed. Another intervention showed to lock the wheelchair brakes during transfers”.

A review of the 12:00 PM 01/27/2015 Nursing Notes “show the nurse was at the nurses’ station when she was summoned to [the resident’s] room to assess the resident since the resident fell to the floor during a transfer from the bed to the wheelchair.” The resident was observed “laying on the floor on his back, with his feet toward the foot board of his bed and his head next to the closet door of his roommate.” The resident “sustained a laceration to the right eyebrow [measuring] one centimeter with a small amount of bleeding noted.” After the incident, the resident “complained of feeling dizzy and the paramedics were called”.

The state investigator conducted at 11:30 AM 03/13/2015 interview with the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) involved in the incident. When the CNA “was asked about the use of a gait belt, he stated it was part of the CNA’s training to use the gait belt at all times when transferring a resident from the bed to the wheelchair or vice versa. In addition, he stated [the resident] needed two persons to assist during transfers.”

A previous interview with a different CNA on 01/27/2015 noted in the facility’s documentation indicate the CNA stated “he transferred [the resident] from the bed to the wheelchair per the request of a family member. During the transfer, the CNA failed to use the gait belt and did not lock the brakes of the wheelchair. As a result, the resident fell forward and landed on the floor.”

Our Santa Ana nursing home neglect lawyers recognize a failing to follow procedures and protocols as outlined in the resident’s care plan has the potential of causing serious injury or harm to the resident. The deficient practice of the nursing staff at Country Villa Plaza Convalescent Center might be considered negligence or mistreatment because the facility failed to follow the facility’s 10/01/1994 policies and procedures titled: Gait Belts that reads in part:

“To the interest of safety and welfare to residents and staff, it is a policy of facility employees to use gait belts when transferring residents. The use of gate belts should be monitored and enforced.”

NEW ORANGE HILLS
5017 E. Chapman Avenue
Orange, California 92869
(714) 997-7090

A “For-Profit” 145-certified bed Medicaid/Medicare-participating facility

Overall Rating – 1 out of 5 possible stars

1 star rating

Primary Concerns –

Failure to Follow Procedures and Protocols When Administering Insulin to a Resident to Ensure They Maintain Their Highest Level of Well-Being

In a summary statement of deficiencies dated 11/17/2015, a complaint investigation against the facility was opened for its failure to “follow physician’s orders for insulin administration for [a resident at the facility].” The complaint investigation involved a physician’s orders to discontinue a resident’s medication where “the failure to discontinue the medication as ordered place a resident at risk to develop further medical complications.”

The state surveyor conducting the complaint investigation reviewed the resident’s 10/06/2015 physician’s orders showing the administering of the resident’s medications and 14 units subcutaneously at bedtime. However, “the first dose administered related to this entry was on 10/13/2015 [which was seven days after the initial physician’s order was given]. The licensed nurses initialed from 10/13/2015 through 10/18/2015 to document the resident continue to receive [their medication] in 14 units. After the dose [of the resident’s medication] was documented as given on 10/18/2015.”

The state surveyor conducted an interview and concurrent record review with the facility’s Director of Nursing who was asked when the resident’s medication should’ve been discontinued. The Director of Nursing indicated the medication should have been discontinued on 10/14/2015.

When asked the reason why the insulin was administered through 10/18/2015, [the Director of Nursing] stated she did not know […and] acknowledged that [one of the resident’s medications] should have been discontinued on 10/14/2015 and the licensed nurse’s notes should have written in the reason why they wrote to hold after the insulin dose was administered on 10/12/2015 and then continue to administer the insulin through 10/18/2015.”

Our Orange nursing home neglect attorneys recognize that failing to follow protocols and procedures when administering insulin to a resident could jeopardize their health and well-being. The deficient practices of the nursing staff at New Orange Hills might be considered mistreatment or negligence because the failures do not follow the established policies and procedures adopted by the facility including the facility’s 06/01/2002 policy titled: Physician Orders that reads in part:

“Any order changes are recorded and documented in the Progress Note and 24 hour Report.”

MESA VERDE POST ACUTE CARE CENTER
661 Center Street
Costa Mesa, California 92627
(949) 548-5584

A “For-Profit” 80-certified bed Medicaid/Medicare-participating facility

Overall Rating – 2 out of 5 possible stars

2 star rating

Primary Concerns –

Failure to Provide Residents the Necessary Services and Care to Ensure They Remain Out of Pain and Failure to Determine the Root Cause of the Pain

In a summary statement of deficiencies dated 12/15/2015, a complaint investigation against the facility was opened for its failure to “provide the necessary care and services to ensure the highest practical level of physical well-being related to accurate pain assessments and pain management.” This deficient practice affected one resident at the facility. In addition, the state surveyor conducting the investigation noted the facility’s failure “to assess the root cause of [the resident’s] pain or to follow-up the with the physician to inform him of the resident continuing to complain of pain of the left ear following [a] treatment.”

The state surveyor conducting the investigation in a complaint review the resident’s medical records that indicated “he did not have the capacity to understand and make decisions.” In addition, the resident’s MDS (Minimum Data Set) revealed that the resident “had severe cognitive impairment and was not usually understood when speaking, due to [his medical condition].”

A review of the resident’s 02/04/2015 care plan addresses the resident’s “pain showed the staff were to assess the resident’s pain medications and treatments for effectiveness and monitor for verbal and nonverbal communication for signs of pain [that may include facial expressions, sounds and guarded movements].”

The facility’s Occupational Therapist stated that “when she visited the resident, he complains of pain to the left side of his face and left ear [… stating] she asked the licensed nurse to give the resident pain medications.”

Previous Resident Pain Assessment Flow Sheets indicate that the resident “complained of moderate to severe pain on a pain scale of 0 to 10 [where 0 equals no pain and 10 equal severe pain] to his left ear.” The resident indicated the pain on three different occasions between 10/14/2015 and 10/30/2015 and again on eight different occasions between 11/05/2015 and 11/18/2015. In every incident, the nursing staff administered medication that produce good results in handling the resident’s pain.

However, the resident’s 11/11/2015 Change of Condition form revealed that the resident “continue to complain of left temporal area pain and requested go to the hospital. However, [the resident’s] physician denied the transfer” and instead prescribed pain medication on four different occasions between 11/12/2015 and 11/16/2015.

The state investigator reviewed the resident’s MARs (Medication Administration Records) that reveal that the staff “were to document the resident’s pain levels each shift. Staff consistently documented the resident had zero episodes of pain during this time.” By 1:00 PM on 11/11/2015, “the resident requested to be transferred due to the left temporal pain. The resident’s physician was notified of the request but denied to transfer the resident to the hospital.” Instead, the resident ordered steroid medications given by the mouth once a day for seven days and an antibiotic by mouth once a day for 10 days and other medications lasting 14 days. However, “there was no documentation to show [the resident] was examined by a dentist to rule out resident’s pain which might’ve been caused by mouth/dental issues.”

The state investigator conducted a 3:45 PM 11/15/2015 interview with a facility Registered Nurse who stated that the resident “was unable to make decisions but was able to make simple needs known through gestures.” The state investigator asked the Registered Nurse “for the reason why the facility had no documentation related to [the resident’s] ED visit regarding any laboratory or x-ray test results, any physician notes or any medications the resident received while in the ED.” The Registered Nurse replied that “the nurse should have received a report [… but] was unable to provide any ED documentation other than the discharge instructions.”

The state investigator noted that a facsimile (fax) was received by the facility on 11/30/2015 showing an update on the resident’s condition and documentation that the physician ordered more pain medications given my mouth and other nerve pain medication by mouth twice a day to treat an infected ear area. The documentation also indicates that “on 11/23 2015 [the resident] had a dental consultation.”

Our Costa Mesa nursing home neglect attorneys recognize that failing to provide adequate care and services to ensure a resident remains out of pain or failure to determine the root cause of pain could cause additional injury, harm and pain to the resident. The deficient practice by the nursing staff and attending physician at Mesa Verde Post-Acute Care Center might be considered abusive or negligent treatment of the resident because of the direct harm and pain the resident experienced for nearly 6 weeks. The actions by the medical team at the facility failed to follow the facility’s 01/01/2012 procedures and protocols titled: Administration of Pain Medication that reads in part:

“The licensed nurse will notify the physician if the current pain medication regimen is not relieving the resident’s pain.”

SEA CLIFF HEALTHCARE CENTER
18811 Florida St
Huntington Beach, California 92648
(714) 847-3515

A “For-Profit” 182-certified bed Medicaid/Medicare-participating facility

Overall Rating – 2 out of 5 possible stars

2 star rating

Primary Concerns –

Failure to Provide Adequate Services to Prevent Urinary Tract Infections from Developing

In a summary statement of deficiencies dated 03/26/2015, a complaint investigation was opened against the facility for its failure to “ensure the proper care and treatment [is provided to the resident].” The deficient practice by the nursing staff at Sea Cliff Healthcare Center “posed the risk for the resident to develop further urinary complications.”

A complaint investigation was initiated in part because of a concurrent interview and observation at 12:30 PM on 03/03/2015 with the resident and family member. “When asked about the resident’s suprapubic urinary drainage catheter site, the family member lifted the resident’s blanket and showed the resident’s suprapubic urinary drainage catheter situated above the resident’s pubic area. The catheter was attached to a urinary drainage bag that was resting below the right side of his bed. The family member stated there was mucus coming out of the suprapubic urinary drainage catheter during one of the resident’s visits with his Urologist […and] the Urologist was concerned about how the facility cared and monitored the resident’s suprapubic urinary drainage catheter.”

After a review of the resident’s February March 2015 TARs (Treatment Administration Records) with the facility’s Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) providing the resident care it was revealed “there was no documented evidence to show [the resident’s] suprapubic urinary drainage catheter site was cared for, monitored and treated.” The state investigator asked the Licensed Vocational Nurse if she was aware of the resident’s suprapubic urinary drainage catheter. The LVN replied, “No.”

The state investigator conducted a full review of the resident’s 01/08/2015 Care Plan problem addressing the suprapubic urinary drainage catheter. The listed interventions included for nursing staff to monitor and document for pain and discomfort related to [the resident’s catheter]; and to monitor, record and report to the physician for signs and symptoms of [a urinary tract infection].”

Later that afternoon, the state investigator conducted a 5:00 PM interview with the facility’s Administrator and Director of Nursing who “verified the findings.”

Our Huntington Beach nursing home neglect attorneys recognize that failing to provide adequate services to the resident with a suprapubic urinary drainage catheter has the potential of causing a urinary tract infection which could cause significant harm and injury to the resident. The deficient practice by the nursing staff at Sea Cliff Healthcare Center might be considered negligence or mistreatment. The actions of the nursing staff providing the resident care failed to follow the facility’s May 2007 policy and procedure titled: Catheter, Suprapubic Care that reads in part:

“It is the policy of the facility to promote hygiene and reduce infection through suprapubic catheter care completed at least daily by a licensed nurse.”

Protecting the Rights of Your Loved One

By law, nursing care providers in California are duty bound to provide every resident a reasonable amount of health and hygiene care as determined by nursing standards. Unfortunately, not every facility provides the highest level of care and services. Many times many failures by the nursing staff results in the resident suffering from serious harm or injury through negligence, mistreatment or abuse.

In many incidences, it is challenging to identify the signs and symptoms of neglect and abuse, especially if the elder resident lacks the capacity to speak out as to what is happening or is too afraid of retribution by those that caused them harm. As a result, family members and friends might be unaware that their loved one is being harmed or injured because simply because indicators of abuse and neglect are not always obvious. Some of the more common forms of mistreatment involve:

  • Broken bones;
  • Open wounds, welts, bruises and cuts;
  • Falls caused by a lack of supervision or following the resident’s Plan of Care
  • Isolating the resident from others;
  • Frequent crying;
  • Unexpected compulsive aggression;
  • Emotional erratic behavior;
  • Elopement are wandering away from the facility;
  • Sexually transmitted disease;
  • Signs that the resident is under medicated such as suffering from untreated pain or abnormal blood glucose levels;
  • Signs that the resident is overmedicated that might be used as a form of chemical restraint;
  • Sudden weight loss that might be the result of malnutrition;
  • Unexplained behaviors and loss of memory that might be caused by dehydration;
  • Urine and fecal odor;
  • Poor hygiene and/or soiled linens;
  • Preventable pressure ulcers including facility acquired bedsores that lead to sepsis (blood infection) or osteomyelitis (bone infection);
  • Failing to properly diagnose or treat an infection such as a urinary tract infection (UTI), methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Clostridium difficile (C. diff);
  • Unreasonable, unwarranted or unauthorized physical restraint;
  • Medication errors caused by mismanagement or failure to follow protocols;
  • Negligent credentialing and hiring methods of the nursing staff;
  • Indicators of the nursing staff is failing to abide by physician’s orders.

An abused or neglected elder resident in a nursing facility can suffer serious physical, psychological or emotional pain and at times feel extremely alone and frightened. As an advocate, many family members and friends who suspect their loved one is being neglected or abused will take immediate action to speak with nursing home administrators, law enforcement officers and personal injury attorneys who specialize in nursing home abuse cases. Skilled Southern California elder abuse attorneys can provide legal advice on how to identify warning signs and put an end to the mistreatment.

Taking Legal Action

If you suspect any Los Angeles area nursing facility is mistreating their residents, it is crucial to make every effort possible to help. The Santa Ana nursing home abuse attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC have helped many victims seek justice and the financial compensation they deserve for their pain, injury and losses. Our actions have helped family members prevent the recurrence of future neglect and abuse.

We encourage you and your family to contact our California elder abuse law office today by calling (888) 424-5757 to schedule your appointment for a full case review. Every case we accept is through a contingency fee agreement. This means we provide victims and their families immediate legal representation without requiring an upfront fee or retainer. All information shared with our law firm remains confidential.

For additional information on California laws and information on nursing homes look here.

If you are looking for information on a specific facility or an attorney, please see links below to respective locality pages.

 

Client Reviews

★★★★★
Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial. Lisa
★★★★★
After I read Jonathan’s Nursing Home Blog, I decided to hire him to look into my wife’s treatment at a local nursing home. Jonathan did a great job explaining the process and the laws that apply to nursing homes. I immediately felt at ease and was glad to have him on my side. Though the lawsuit process was at times frustrating, Jonathan reassured me, particularly at my deposition. I really felt like Jonathan cared about my wife’s best interests, and I think that came across to the lawyers for the nursing home. Eric