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Broken Door Alarm Cited In Investigation Of Nursing Home Residents Death

Investigation Of Nursing Home Residents DeathOn February 2nd, Carrie ‘Christine’ Evans wandered from Primrose Villa Nursing Home just a few hundred yards to her death.  Officials from the North Carolina Medical Examiner’s office concluded that Ms. Evans’ death was due to a closed head injury after a fall.  The incident occurred less than 1/5 of a mile from the North Carolina nursing home.  There were similar episodes where Ms. Evans’ wandered from the facility prior to this incident.

The investigation into Evans’ death also confirmed the following:

  • Primrose Villa had been visited by state inspectors 28 times in the past two years despite the fact that state law only requires quarterly inspections
  • The facility failed to assume referral and follow-up to meet the health care needs of residents
  • On the day of Evans’ wandering from the facility, the door alarm was disengaged because a supervisor was not trained on how to operate it
  • The staff failed to document falls and other injuries despite the fact that residents received medical treatment for the injuries

As a result of the Ms. Evans’ death and the subsequent investigation, Primrose Villa faces two Type A penalties and potentially two Type B penalties.  A Type A violation is when a nursing home resident suffers serious physical harm and carries a potential fine of $20,000 per violation.  A Type B violation is given for an incident that impacts the residents quality of care but has not been corrected despite request from the state to do so.  Read more about this case of the death a North Carolina nursing home resident here.

Nursing home fines aside, I imagine a wrongful death lawsuit is in this nursing home’s future.  If proven accurate, the fact that this facility was aware of Ms. Evans’ propensity to wander from the facility yet failed to implement preventive measures is appalling.  This type of hap-hazard care needs to be prosecuted by public officials and private attorneys.

For laws related to North Carolina nursing homes, look here.

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