One early morning in January 2009, a nurse at Alden Village North found a twelve-year old resident slumped in his wheelchair, unresponsive. The child’s diagnoses included Profound Mental Retardation, Hydrocephalic, History of Pulmonary Hypertension, Respiratory Distress, and Asthma. The facility reported that the child’s condition was very stable and that there were no medical incidents the day before the unfortunate death, which was caused by pulmonary, respiratory arrest. So, what happened?
On the morning that the child died, the night nurse left early and the day nurse was running late, which resulted in a gap in medical coverage of some fifteen minutes. A nurse who happened to be passing by found the child unresponsive in his wheelchair at 7:30 a.m., started resuscitation, and called for help. The child was pronounced dead twelve minutes later. When the IDPH looked into the incident, it found that Alden Village North had abused or neglected the twelve-year old by leaving him unattended between shifts and without a required oxygen saturation monitor and allowing an unauthorized person to attend to the child’s feeding tubes.
Alden Village North is a small facility located at 7464 North Sheridan Road in Chicago, Illinois that describes itself as “a health facility for children and young adults.” It is part of the Alden Network, a group of more than forty facilities that provide health care and senior living. As we reported last month, Alden Village North was one of 32 nursing homes that made it onto the IDPH first-quarter 2009 violator list, receiving a Notice of Type “A” Violation relating to the area of nursing and a fine of $35,000 as a result of circumstances surrounding the death of the twelve-year old. Unfortunately, this is not the first time the IDPH has listed Alden Village North on its violator list; the facility received another Type “A” Violation, again relating to the area of nursing, and a fine of $20,000 in the third-quarter of 2008.
For laws related to Illinois nursing homes, look here.