Legal Issues at West Lawrence Care Center in Queens
Given an overall rating of three out of five stars by the New York State Department of Health, the West Lawrence Care Center has received 112 complaints and 23 standard health and life safety code citations in the past three years. West Lawrence Care Center has also been sued in civil lawsuits alleging negligent care of residents. The complaints against the West Lawrence nursing home have resulted in 10 on-site inspections and 3 citations. One of the standard health citations received by the facility, located at 1410 Seagirt Blvd., Far Rockaway, NY 11691, has been determined as providing substandard care by the New York State Department of Health.
A summary of recent certification surveys in which deficiencies were found is provided below and provides insight into the risk to residents admitted into West Lawrence Care Center.
Free Case Consultation
If your family member was ignored, abused, malnourished or neglected, our Queens nursing home abuse attorneys can help.
Call us now for a free nursing home negligence case consultation: 646-969-5855
Certification Survey dated 1/15/2019 at West Lawrence Care Center
The facility did not ensure that an individually-tailored Comprehensive Care Plan (CCP) was developed for a resident who had developed a refusal of oral hygiene care and that a nursing rehabilitation program had been recommended due to hip, neck, and bilateral knee impairment. According to the physician’s orders, gauze rolls were to be applied to the resident’s hand and only taken off for skin checks and personal hygiene. However, the resident was observed several times without any gauze rolls. This puts the resident at risk of contracting a surgical site infection.
In addition, 8 boxes of eyedrops were observed to lack pharmacy labels, and resident names, when-opened dates, and room numbers were written in by hand. When questioned, the Director of Nursing Services stated that the pharmacy does not provide the eyedrops to the facility as they are kept in stock. The facility corrected the practice by discontinuing keeping eyedrops in stock and ordering them for individual residents through the pharmacy.
Pursuant to regulations, residents must be seen by a physician every 30 days for the first 90 days after admission, and at least once every 60 days thereafter. Residents must also be seen by a physician within at least 10 days of admission to a nursing home. One resident was noted to not have seen the physician for a period of 75 days. The Director of Nursing Services admitted that the resident was overdue to be seen by a doctor.
For three other residents, the surveyor cited West Lawrence Care Center for failing to keep accurate medical records. In one instance, no medical indication was given for why a resident required oxygen, and the order lacked the route via which oxygen should be administered. For another resident who had been admitted with several pressure ulcers, an order was included to clean and dry and sacrum and buttock but no clinical indication for the order was provided. Lastly, a resident with diabetes was given insulin at 6 separate times but the dose administered was not recorded; nurses were only required to sign that they provided the insulin.
Moreover, a resident was not provided a safe and comfortable, home-like environment as his air mattress pump was very loud. He stated that he could not sleep because of the noise and had asked numerous staff members to change the mattress; although he was told that it would be corrected, nothing had happened.
Certification Survey dated 8/4/2017 at West Lawrence Care Center
During this survey, it was noted that two residents had refused pneumococcal vaccines but there was no documentation that a follow up had occurred or that they had been provided information regarding the refusals. In addition, one resident’s Minimum Data Set reflected that he was up to date with pneumococcal vaccines, which was a coding error.
Structurally, the surveyor observed that a section of the kitchen exit stairwell was missing guard rails, and the guard rails that were installed were more than 4 inches apart, contrary to regulations. Moreover, an exit door was noted to have rusting and a hole along the lower portion of the door. Finally, clearance between sprinkler deflectors and the top of storage was less than 18 inches.
Certification Survey dated 6/23/2016 at West Lawrence Care Center
CCPs were not developed for 13 residents with regard to the use of side rails for their beds. In one instance, a resident was found with her neck through the side rail. Despite the fact that the side rails had gaps of over 4.75 inches, as required, they were not removed. Although rail pads were put in place, the Velcro straps had not been fastened, which would have still allowed the resident’s head to fall through the side rails, placing the resident at risk of a bed rail asphyxiation death. This was determined to be substandard quality of care. The facility was also cited for its failure to provide Quality Assurance regarding the side rails.
Yet another resident had suffered an unexplained fall and stated that he was put back into bed by a woman. The nurse did not believe him and had not told her supervisor or the physician. The resident was eventually transferred to a hospital to be assessed as he complained of hip and thigh pain, and his leg was swollen. These injuries of unknown origin might suggest neglect or abuse.
Moreover, a resident who had exhibited a decline in urinary continence had not received appropriate treatment to restore normal bladder function as much as possible. The resident’s CCP did not reflect the resident’s bladder incontinence status and none was initiated for the resident.
The facility also failed to ensure that a psychiatric consultation was performed as recommended. A resident was provided antipsychotic medication and was scheduled for a psychiatric consultation in three to four months. None was conducted, although a follow up should have been scheduled for April or May of that year. The consult follow-up form was never completed, which meant that the resident did not see the psychiatrist in a timely manner.
Further, a resident was observed to be without access to the call bell. The call bell had a very short cord and the attachment to the call bell was hanging from the call box and was not accessible to the resident who was lying in bed. The staff stated that the resident had been given a shorter call bell cord because she was once found with the call bell around her neck. No one could provide an explanation why the call bell was not in place for this resident.
The certification surveys of West Lawrence Care Center suggest that the residents may be at risk for nursing home abuse and neglect. It is extremely concerning that a resident who had suffered an unwitnessed fall was returned to his bed without supervisors or the physician being alerted, and that his claim that he had fallen was not believed for some time.
If you believe that you or a loved one has experienced nursing home neglect or abuse, please do not hesitate to contact one of our experienced NYC nursing home abuse attorneys today at 646-969-5855.
« Previous PostNext Post »