legal resources necessary to hold negligent facilities accountable.
Trisun Care Center - Westwood (SFF) Abuse and Neglect Attorneys
Both the State of Texas and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) conduct routine surveys, inspections, and investigations on every nursing home statewide. The efforts of the inspectors help to identify any serious problems occurring at the facility that injure or could injure, the residents. When issues are identified, regulators provide numerous opportunities for the nursing home to improve the level of care they provide and correct their policies, procedures, and programs.
At some nursing facilities, the problems are so severe and based on underlying issues that make it nearly impossible to correct. Regulators will often designate these Homes as Special Focus Facilities (SFF) and place the Centers on the federal Medicare deficiency watch list. Typically, these facilities remain on the list for many months or years until regulators are satisfied that positive changes are permanent.
In 2017, nursing home regulators designated Trisun Care Center – Westwood as a Special Focus Facility. Now, the SFF Center must undergo additional unannounced surveys and inspections in the years ahead. Some of the major concerns, violations, and deficiencies involving the Center are detailed below.
Trisun Care Center - Westwood
This Long-Term Care Facility is a 94-certified bed ‘for profit’ Home providing services and cares to residents of Corpus Christi and Nueces County, Texas. The Center is located at:
801 Cantwell Ln
Corpus Christi, TX 78408
In addition to providing short-term nursing care, the facility also offers:
- Long-Term Care
- Palliative Care
- Pulmonary and Ventilator Care
- Cardiac Care
- Wound Care
- Diabetes Care
- Stroke Recovery
- Dialysis Care
- Specialized Nutrition
More Than $90,000 in Monetary Penalties
Federal and state nursing home regulators have the legal authority to impose monetary penalties against any nursing facility in Texas that violates rules and regulations. These monetary fines are imposed to improve the quality of care the facility provides and notify the nursing staff and Administrator that they must increase their standards to ensure the health and well-being of every resident are protected.
In the last three years, regulators have levied two fines against Trisun Care Center - Westwood including a $1,268 fine on 12/16/2015, and the second fine of $92,034 on 12/21/2016. During the same time, the regulators received eleven formally filed complaints and one facility-reported issue that after investigations all resulted in citations.
Current Nursing Home Resident Safety Concerns
The state of Texas routinely updates their long-term care home database system to reflect all dangerous hazards, filed complaints, safety concerns, health violations, opened investigations, and incident inquiries. This information can be found on numerous sites including Medicare.gov.
Currently, Trisun Care Center – Westwood maintains an overall one out of five stars compared to all nursing homes nationwide. This ranking includes one out of five stars for health inspections, one out of five stars for staffing issues, and two stars for quality measures. Some of the most serious violations, deficiencies and concerns involving this facility over the last few years include:
- Failure to Protect Every Resident from Abuse, Physical Punishment or Being Separated from Others
- Failure to Protect Every Resident from Unnecessary and Unauthorized Physical Restraints
- Failure to Report and Investigate Acts or Allegations of Abuse, Neglect or Mistreatment of Residents
- Failure to Ensure There Were Adequate Staff Members at the Facility to Maximize the Resident’s Well-Being
- Failure to Follow Protocols and Procedures to Prevent the Spread of Infection throughout the Facility
- Failure to Ensure That Every Resident’s Drug Regiment Is Free from Unnecessary Medications
- Failure to Provide an Environment Free of Accident Hazards
- Failure to Notify the Resident’s Doctor and the Resident’s Responsible Party Immediately of the Serious Decline in Their Medical Condition That Led to Death
- Failure to Provide Adequate Housekeeping and Maintenance Services
- Failure to Ensure There Is a Pest Control Program That Prevents Dealing with Mice, Insects or Other Pests
- Failure to Provide Adequate Housekeeping and Maintenance Services
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated December 21, 2016, the state investigator documented the facility’s failure “to ensure each resident was free from involuntary seclusion for [two residents at the facility].” In one incident, a resident “ was placed in the secured unit without physician’s orders.” And another incident, a different resident “resided in the Secured Unit without justification for needing specialized care.” It was also noted that the facility “failed to reevaluate [the second resident] for continued stay in the secured unit of the facility.”
The state investigator documented that these deficiencies “resulted in the identification of an Immediate Jeopardy on December 12, 2016. The Immediate Jeopardy was removed on December 21, 2016, however, the facility remains out of compliance with the severity of actual harm with the scope assessed as widespread. These failures placed twenty-six residents residing in the secured unit at risk for involuntary confinement and psychosocial abuse.”
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated December 16, 2015, the state investigator documented the facility’s failure “to ensure residents were free from any restraint [that was] not required for medical symptoms or before staff convenience.” The surveyor documented that the facility had restricted a resident’s “mobility by placing [their] wheelchair between the wall and table and locking her wheelchair so she would not be able to freely move around the facility.”
The investigator also documented that the facility prevented the resident “from getting out of bed by inverting the head of the bed down and elevating the foot of the bed up.” The surveyor noted that the “facility did not conduct assessments for lesser restrictive alternative measures [before] using bed elevation, bed inversion, and locking [the resident’s] wheelchair to restrict her freedom of movement throughout the secured unit.” These failures “could place seventy-four residents who are in a chair all or most of the time at increased risk of injury, decreased mobility, isolation, diminished quality of life, and increased risk of their psychosocial needs not being met.”
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated December 21, 2016, the state investigator documented the facility’s failure “to ensure two allegations of neglect (including injuries of unknown origin) were reported to the Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) within the required time frame of 24 hours.” The deficient practice affected to residents “reviewed for abuse and neglect.” The surveyor documented that these deficiencies “could place all 82 residents at risk for neglect.”
One incident involved a facility investigation reported by a family member of an incident occurring on November 11, 2016, when a resident was found to have a “bruise on the forehead.” While the incident was documented to have occurred on November 11, 2016, it was not reported within 24 hours but instead on November 14, 2016.
In a separate incident occurring on September 25, 2016, a different resident was found to have blood underneath the resident’s fingernails. “The incident was reported after 24 hours to DADS on September 27, 2016” even though “the facility had learned of the incident on September 25, 2016, when facility staff noted scratches on the bridge of [the resident’s] nose.
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated December 21, 2016, the state surveyor documented the facility’s failure “to ensure adequate staffing to provide nursing-related services to attain or maintain the highest practicable physical, mental and psychosocial well-being. The deficient practice by the nursing staff involved two residents of the facility.” In one incident, a resident “was left on the toilet for almost an hour.”
In a separate incident, a different resident “witnessed no staff on the Memory Care Unit.” This incident referred to the 10:00 PM through 6:00 AM shift when there “was inadequate staffing to provide incontinent care for every two hours and to evacuate the building in the event of a fire. This failure placed 82 residents residing in the facility at risk for failure to have sufficient staff and to meet the resident’s care needs.”
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated December 21, 2016, the state investigator documented the facility’s failure “to establish and maintain an infection control program designed to provide a safe, sanitary and comfortable environment, and to help prevent the development and transmission of disease and infection.” The deficient practice affected five residents.
In one incident, a Licensed Vocational Nurse “did not perform hand hygiene on five occasions, as per the facility’s policy and protocol during a medication pass.” It was documented by the surveyor that “these failures could place all 16 residents residing in the 300 Hall and 16 residents residing in the 600 Hall at risk for exposure to infections.”
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated December 16, 2015, the surveyor documented the facility’s failure “to ensure each resident’s drug regimen was monitored for effectiveness of treatment or indications for its use.” This deficiency included a failure “to attempt a gradual dose reduction for [a resident] reviewed for psychoactive medications. The surveyor noted that two residents’ “Psychoactive Behavior Monitoring Forms were being completed [before] the residents exhibited any behaviors or not documented [daily].”
The facility “had not attempted a gradual dose reduction of [one resident’s] psychoactive medication since being admitted to the facility. These failures could affect the 72 residents who received psychoactive medications by placing them at risk of a decline in their quality of life, weight loss, and the decline in their Activities of Daily Living.”
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated May 13, 2016, the state investigator documented the facility’s failure “to ensure the environment remained is Free from accident hazards as possible.” The deficient practice by the nursing staff affected two residents “reviewed for accidents.”
One incident involved a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) who “dropped a pack of cigarettes on the floor of [a moderately impaired resident’s] room. The cigarettes were accessible to the residents for thirty minutes.” The surveyor observed the pack of cigarettes dropped by the CNA “on the floor in the room shared by [two residents] on the 200 Hall. The pack of cigarettes was full, with the top open, lying in front of [one of the resident’s] bed. The surveyor remained in the room “for 20 minutes [before] any staff arrived” to answer the call light.
The certified nursing aides That enter the resident’s “room and picked up the pack of cigarettes on the floor [stating that] she had been looking for them.” The CNA “said she was not allowed to have cigarettes on her person and she was not supposed to leave them in the resident’s room unsupervised.” The CNA stated that “if a resident ingested the cigarettes, they could get very sick.”
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated September 14, 2016, the state investigator documented that the facility had failed to “consult with the resident’s physician and to notify the resident’s legal representative (LR).” The deficient practice by the nursing staff affected one resident “reviewed when there was a change of condition and a potential need to alter treatment.”
The surveyor also noted the facility did not notify the resident’s Legal Representative when the resident “became ill; had critical value labs, when a chest x-ray was ordered; when [the resident] was diagnosed with [a medical condition, and] was refusing nebulizer treatments.” It was documented that the facility “did not “consult with the resident’s physician when the resident refused her nebulizer treatment” and also “failed to notify the Legal Representative when the resident passed away.
The deficient practice by the nursing staff “could affect seven residents receiving respiratory treatments and 14 residents that required lab work…” The investigator interviewed the Legal Representative after the resident’s death and “asked about the nebulizer. The Legal Representative stated she had been told, after the resident’s death, that the resident was refusing to treatment but when no one notified her before that time. The Legal Representative was crying, stating that if she had been notified she would have spoken to the resident and encouraged her to accept the treatments.”
The Legal Representative That “stated she was later told during a meeting… by the Director of Nurses that residents were not sent to the hospital for pneumonia, but the Legal Representative stated she would have insisted the resident be sent to the hospital if she had known.”
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated December 16, 2015, the state investigator documented the facility’s failure “to provide a sanitary and comfortable environment for [a resident] reviewed for a clean mattress. The facility provided [the resident] with a mattress that was torn and damaged by fluid and rust.” The surveyor noted that this failure “to provide a sanitary and comfortable environment could impair the health and diminish the feeling of self-worth for 84 residents who depend on the facility for clean mattresses.”
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated May 13, 2016, the state surveyor identified a facility failure. The deficiency included a failure “to provide an effective pest control program in the resident’s room on [one of the sixth halls] in the dining room, and three of six hallways in the 400 Hall, 500 Hall, and 600 Hall.”
In a summary statement of deficiencies dated September 14, 2016, the state investigator noted the facility’s failure “to provide housekeeping and maintenance services necessary to maintain a comfortable and homelike environment.” The deficient practice by the nursing staff directly affected to residents on the 200 Hall. In one incident, the resident’s “window curtains had a large dark brown stain.” In another resident’s room “the toilet did not flush and had brown particles on the inside of the bowl and brown stain toilet paper floating in the bowl.” This resident “did not have a trash can in her room.
The surveyor noted that “this deficient practice placed fifteen residents on the 200 Hall at risk of the feeling of low self-worth, resulting in the decline of health, mental and emotional status.”
Need a Lawyer to File a Nursing Home Abuse Claim?
If you suspect your loved one is being abused or mistreated while residing as a patient at Trisun Care Center - Westwood, contacting a personal injury attorney can help. A law firm working on your behalf can handle your entire compensation claim including filing a case, gathering evidence, negotiating a settlement or presenting the lawsuit in front of a judge and jury.
No upfront payments are necessary because personal injury attorneys accept all nursing home abuse claims for compensation through contingency fee agreements. This arrangement will provide your family with immediate legal representation while postponing any payment for legal services until after the case is successfully resolved, and you obtain monetary compensation to recover your damages.