|September 17, 2002
JONESBORO FACILITY FINED FOR IMPROPER RESTRAINT OF RESIDENTS
SPRINGFIELD, IL The Illinois Department of Public Health has fined Peachtree Estates $10,000 (Statement of Violation) for failure to protect residents from abuse. The 16-bed intermediate care facility for the developmentally disabled is located at 1370 State Route 127 South in Jonesboro.
Responding to a complaint, Department surveyors learned two residents were physically restrained by staff after they refused to take their medications.
One resident had her hair and head pulled by staff as they shoved medication into her mouth. The resident's nose and mouth were covered to prevent her from spitting out the medication. Following the incident, the resident, who had a history of suicide attempts, tried to cut her wrist and tied a pillowcase around her throat in an attempt to kill herself. An employee acknowledged staff probably caused this behavior.
Another resident was restrained twice in the same day so staff could administer her medication, which was crushed in water and spoon fed to her while staff held her down. The resident's nose was held to make her swallow the medication.
Both residents were diagnosed as mentally retarded and mentally ill. Staff were not trained to work with such clients even though four residents with similar diagnoses had been admitted to the facility in recent months.
The facility's policy stated residents have the right to refuse medication and that physical restraints will not be used for staff convenience or without the written order of a physician. No procedures as to what staff should do if a client refuses to take medication were identified.
According to the facility's administration, restraining a resident for refusing to take medication without a physician order is a form of abuse. The facility failed to investigate both incidents.
The Department-ordered plan of correction required the facility to review and revise, if necessary, its policies relating to residents' rights and to the health and safety needs of each resident and to train staff on proper restraint techniques and proper medication administration.
Peachtree Estates has requested a hearing on the Department's action. No hearing date has been set.
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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