|July 16, 2003
STATE FINES THREE CHICAGO AREA FACILITIES
SPRINGFIELD, IL The Illinois Department of Public Health has fined three Chicago area facilities for violating the state Nursing Home Care Act:
Burnham House was fined $10,000 (Statement of Violation) for an incident in which a non-verbal resident was sexually abused by a visitor who, despite not being recognized by staff, was left alone with the resident in his bedroom while an employee tried to call the resident's guardian. When the employee returned to the resident's room, she found him undressed in the bathroom with the visitor. Instead of immediately calling the police or seeking medical attention for the resident, the employee told the visitor to leave the bathroom and then she showered and dressed the resident, erasing evidence of the assault. The visitor returned to the resident's bedroom, where he was watched by another employee while the first employee went to call the resident's guardian and the residential service director. The two employees then interviewed the resident, who can answer questions using gestures and by nodding his head, and he confirmed that he had been assaulted by the visitor. However, the resident was not taken to the hospital for evaluation nor was he assessed by a facility nurse until the next day.
Crestwood House was fined $5,000 (Statement of Violation) for failing to ensure that a resident receiving tube feedings was getting the appropriate care to prevent dehydration and metabolic abnormalities. The resident was admitted to the facility with an order for sodium chloride, which the facility continued to give to her even though lab results showed elevated levels of the compound. The facility failed to assess why the levels were high and failed to take corrective measures. The resident was eventually hospitalized with respiratory failure. The hospital physician stated that, while the elevated sodium level and resulting dehydration did not cause the respiratory failure, it contributed to the resident's medical condition.
Warren Barr Pavilion was fined $5,000 (Statement of Violation) for an incident in which a resident sustained a bruised and cut arm after leaving the facility unsupervised. Police found the resident wandering in the street and took her to a nearby hospital. Although the resident had made several attempts to leave the facility, an elopement risk assessment was not performed prior to the incident. Staff determined the resident left the facility through a rear exit door, which was near her room. When the door is opened, an alarm is supposed to signal the front desk. However, there was a problem with the door and the alarm did not sound when the resident left.
Burnham House and Crestwood Terrace have requested hearings on the Department's actions. Hearing dates have not been scheduled. Warren Barr Pavilion did not request a hearing.
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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