State fines West Melbourne nursing home for neglect

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A Melborne nursing home was fined $36,000 after committing multiple errors involving a patient who eventually died.  AHCA fined West Melbourne Health & Rehabilitation Center after finding the errors during an administrative complaint inspection on Dec. 27.  The home will be subjected to inspections every six months for two years.   During the December inspection, AHCA reported staff from the 180-bed facility failed to follow physician orders, assess bruising from an unknown source and properly administer blood-thinning drugs given to the patient.  Staff members also did not consistently update the patient’s medical charts.  AHCA questioned the use of three blood-thinning medications prescribed to the patient at the same time.  œPhysicians’ notes . . . did not indicate any documentation of the rationale for the three blood-thinning medications ordered with similar effects, which would increase risk of bleeding/hemorrhage, the report stated. œThis noncompliance (among others), the report stated, œcaused or is likely to cause, serious injury, harm, impairment or death.  The agency’s 37-page report went on at length about bruising on the patient’s abdomen and inner thighs, an indication of internal bleeding. The nursing home staff noticed the purplish-colored skin on the patient and even discussed it, but rarely reported it on medical records or attempted any treatment for it, according to the report.   The patient was admitted to the facility on Sept. 13 with heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and a blood clot in the legs, among other disorders.  Various tests ordered by physicians were not verified on medical records, including tests to determine whether the blood-thinning medications were working.  The patient became unresponsive and was sent to a hospital Dec. 3, the report said, and likely was unconscious, suffered a severe stroke and respiratory failure related to deep-vein thrombosis (a blood clot). The patient died at the hospital Dec. 13.

Unfortunately, neglectful treatment is not limited to just this nursing home.  In 2013, 88 nursing homes in Florida had official complaints made against them.

If you or a loved one has been injured due to the negligence of a nursing home facility and its’ employees, families need to consult experienced attorneys who help guide them through the process of seeking compensation, if they choose to do so.  Contact us at Edwards & Ragatz, P.A. 904-399-1609 or 1-800-366-1609

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