May 7, 1999
TWO CENTRAL ILLINOIS NURSING HOMES FINED
SPRINGFIELD, IL -- The Illinois Department of Public Health has taken disciplinary action against two central Illinois nursing homes:
Cottonwood Health Care Center was fined $10,000 for failing to monitor the alcohol intake of a resident or to check him for possible adverse reactions. Responding to a complaint, Department surveyors learned the 47-year-old resident was intoxicated and, when staff went to put him to bed, he was sitting in a wheelchair in his room with a gurgling sound coming from his throat. A nurse was summoned for assistance, but did not arrive for a least 10 minutes, by which time the man was turning blue. A rescue squad was called and cardiopulmonary resuscitation begun, but the resident died a short time later at the hospital. Death was due to swallowed liquid going into his lungs, and emphysema. The resident's court-appointed guardian was notified by the facility of the death, but was not told the man had been drinking alcohol in the hours prior to his death. (Statement of Violation)
Hart House was fined $10,000 for failing to protect residents from physical abuse by another resident. In one instance, a resident bit a large part of another resident's ear off during an unprovoked attack. The injured woman was taken to the hospital for stitches, but doctors were unable to reattach the piece of ear. When the attack occurred, the facility had just one staff member present to care for the 15 clients.
At the time of another assault, the only staff member on duty was in the restroom when the same male resident, who weighs more than 200 pounds, began to hit and kick a woman resident. The staff member tried to help, but also was attacked. When the woman resident attempted to run, the man would threw her to the ground and continued the beating. The attack lasted 10 to 15 minutes before the staff member was able to get the resident to safety. She was transported to the hospital with multiple bruises to her back, sides, legs and arms and a black eye. Responding to complaints, Department surveyors reviewed eight attacks in which the same resident hit, kicked, choked or bit other residents for no reason or simply for not paying attention to him. Surveyors found the facility did not provide sufficient and competent staff to supervise the residents, did not provide strategies to reduce the risk of abuse and did not have a monitoring system to protect residents from aggression. (Statement of Violation)
Cottonwood Health Care and Hart House have requested hearings on the Department's actions. Hearing dates have not been scheduled.
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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