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Neglect of Resident by St. Mark’s Nursing Home in Austin, Minnesota Causes Fracture

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Neglect

Neglect of Resident by St. Mark’s Nursing Home in Austin, Minnesota Causes Fracture

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

August 22, 2014

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has completed its investigation of neglect concerns at St. Mark’s Lutheran Home in Austin, Minnesota. A complaint was filed with the Department alleging that St. Mark’s Lutheran Home’s nursing staff transferred a resident in a manner not in accordance with the resident’s care plan, resulting in a fracture to the resident’s left humerous.

The Department investigated the matter and found that the resident had left-sided weakness as a result of a stroke. The resident’s care plan required that the resident be transferred by two staff with an EZ Stand. In May 2014, St. Mark’s Lutheran Home nursing staff attempted to transfer the resident from a wheelchair to the toilet using the EZ Stand, without the assistance of another staff. As a result, the resident fell to the floor, from a height of approximately two feet fracturing the left humerous. The resident experienced a significant change in condition as a result of the fall. The MDH determined that the care giver was responsible for neglect. [Case no. H5369056].

This is not the first investigation of St. Mark’s Lutheran Home by the MDH. In May 2011, the MDH substantiated allegations of neglect when St. Mark’s nursing staff failed to provide adequate supervision which resulted in a resident fall with injuries. [Case no. H5369049]

Medicare rates nursing homes, including this 61-bed nursing home facility. Medicare has assigned an overall rating to St. Mark’s Lutheran Home as a “below average” facility. In addition, Medicare has assigned an overall rating to St. Mark’s Lutheran Home as a “much below average” facility based on the government’s health inspections of the facility. Deficiencies cited by Medicare include St. Mark’s Lutheran Home’s failure to provide enough nurses to care for every resident and failure to provide care by qualified persons according to each resident’s written plan of care, among other failures.

Click here to learn more details about St. Mark’s Lutheran Home.

The Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represents clients in cases involving catastrophic injury caused by nursing homes and other care facilities that fail to provide proper care. If you believe your loved one has been harmed due neglect or abuse in a nursing home, take action and contact the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm online or call us toll-free at (877) 552-2873 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.

Kosieradzki Smith Case Featured in the News

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

August 22, 2014

Star Tribune published an investigation article on the front page of this past Sunday’s newspaper, entitled “Care aides get little to no training for life-and-death tasks.” The Star Tribune article focuses on the lack of training and supervision provided to the care aides who are responsible for the health and well-being of vulnerable patients.

The article features a Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm case currently pending in Hennepin County.  Our clients, the family of Kenneth Ell seek to hold the St. John Home care facility accountable for causing his wrongful death. Here are some of the points from the article:

  • “With home caregivers asked to perform more complex and risky tasks, the absence of training and supervision has sometimes led to fatal results. [Our client] Lisa Lassen is still haunted by the pained cries of her father, as an infection from a foot wound spread through his body, consuming his organs. ‘I will never forget his moaning and yelling for as long as I live,’ Lassen said. The worst part, said Lassen, is living with the belief that his death two years ago was ‘completely avoidable.’’’
  • Her father, … a retired railroad worker with diabetes and early dementia, developed a foot infection soon after entering St. John Home Care, a small group home that employed personal care attendants. The Ell family chose the home, in a neighborhood of Minnetonka, in part because it seemed more intimate than a nursing facility and advertised ‘specialized diabetic care’ and ‘wound and foot care’ on its website.”
  • In sworn testimony, a former personal care attendant at the home described a chaotic atmosphere. The caregiver, Jessica Crawford, said she watched as a staff member reused hypodermic needles for injecting insulin into diabetic residents, and said her training consisted of being told to watch some videos. The group home’s owner, a nurse, visited ‘maybe once in a blue moon,’ she said. ‘Most of the employees didn’t know what they were doing or didn’t carry through with their jobs correctly,’ Crawford, who no longer works at the home, said in sworn testimony.”
  • “Lassen said staff failed to detect obvious signs that her father had a serious infection. He had difficulty walking, complained of foot pain and became increasingly lethargic, Lassen said. When a laboratory report revealed that Ell had an elevated white blood cell count, indicating an infection, she said three-and-a-half days passed before the staff sent the lab report to a physician’s clinic.”
  • “By the time Ell was admitted to a hospital, it was too late. The infection had spread so rapidly that, after his lower right leg was amputated, he died of multi-system organ failure. His 89-year-old mother was so overcome with grief that she threw herself on his lifeless body as it lay sprawled on the hospital bed.”
  • “The Minnesota Department of Health investigated Ell’s death last year and found that the group home had failed to appropriately treat the client’s diabetes and follow up on the lab report. The facility was cited for neglect. ‘It makes me so incredibly mad,’ said Lassen,… “I believe 100 percent that my father would still be alive today had he been treated by licensed and trained professionals.”

The Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represents clients in cases involving catastrophic injury caused by nursing homes and other care facilities that fail to provide proper care. If you believe your loved one has been harmed due neglect or abuse in a nursing home or other care facility, take action and contact the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm online or call us toll-free at (877) 552-2873 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.

 

Specialty Care Group Staff Neglects Resident

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

August 13, 2014

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has completed its investigation of neglect concerns at the Specialty Care Group, a home care provider in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  A complaint was filed with the MDH alleging that the staff providing 24 hour care was unable to provide adequate care to their resident. The staff was not able to manage tube feedings, and the resident was found positioned inappropriately and one staff member was found drunk and passed out in the resident’s bathroom.

The MDH investigated the matter and found that the staff member began drinking alcohol while on duty and failed to provide the care and supervision necessary to maintain the residents’ physical health and safety. The MDH determined that the care giver is responsible for neglect of the facility’s resident. [Case no. HL27391001]

The Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represents clients in cases involving catastrophic injury caused by nursing homes and other care facilities that fail to provide proper care. If you believe your loved one has been harmed due neglect or abuse in a nursing home or other care facility, take action and contact the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm online or call us toll-free at (877) 552-2873 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.

$14.5 Million Verdict in Wrongful Death and Negligence Case

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

July 29, 2014

According to the Daily News in Massachusetts, the estate of an elderly woman who died after a fall and weeks of neglect at a Danvers nursing home has won a $14.5 million verdict in a wrongful death and negligence case.

Genevieve Calandro was 90 years old and suffered from dementia when she was admitted to the nursing home in December 2007. She was neglected over a period of months, leading up to the first week of July 2008. She had multiple brewing infections, uncontrolled glucose levels, and a worsening, infected bed sore.

After she fell out of her wheelchair in the dining room, she was taken to Beverly Hospital and found to have a number of complications due to her condition. She died of congestive heart failure on August 16, 2008. Congestive heart failure often develops after other conditions, such as severe infections (pressure sores), have damaged or weakened the heart.

The complaint said financial decisions and corporate greed contributed to the neglect of residents, including Genevieve Calandro, who could not care for herself. It charged that Radius failed to properly train and hire competent staff, and that the corporation overseeing Radius did not comply with state and federal regulations to protect patients.

The Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represents clients in cases involving catastrophic injury caused by nursing homes and other care facilities that fail to provide proper care. If you believe your loved one has been harmed due neglect or abuse in a nursing home, take action and contact the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm online or call us toll-free at (877) 552-2873 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.

Accessible Space, Inc.’s assisted living facility neglect deprives resident of anti-seizure medication and causes resident’s death

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

July 22, 2014

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has completed its investigation of neglect concerns at the ASI Metro 4, aka Accessible Space, Inc., an assisted living facility in St. Paul, Minnesota.  A complaint was filed with the MDH alleging that neglect occurred when the facility’s resident did not receive prescribed medications for nine days, resulting in a seizure. The MDH investigated the matter and found that neglect occurred when the client missed 19 doses of a Phenobarbital, a scheduled anticonvulsant medication, for ten consecutive days and had a seizure lasting 15 minutes.  The resident required emergency care and died the next day.  The death certificate identified respiratory failure related to a seizure as the cause of death.

According to the MDH investigation, the resident was in the Accessible Space, Inc. facility with a diagnosis of seizure disorder and multiple sclerosis.  The resident had cognitive impairment with decision making and required total assistance with medication set up and administration. The resident’s seizure disorder was well maintained with the use of medication and had not had a seizure in several years.  The facility’s mediation administration record showed that the facility staff had failed to administer the resident’s anticonvulsant medication for ten days prior to the hospitalization.

The MDH investigation also revealed that the Accessible Space, Inc. assisted living facility also failed to administer three doses of the anticonvulsant medication to the resident three months earlier, in December, and had failed to administer a drug for a urinary tract infection in January.

The MDH determined that the facility is responsible for neglect of the facility’s resident.  [Case no. HL25489002]

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that “This marks the second time in nearly two years that Accessible Space has been found responsible for a serious medication error. In 2012, a male resident was found “gray and pale and dazed” on the floor of his apartment after staffers set up his medications incorrectly. State investigators found that the man had not received two prescribed drugs, a pain reliever and an antihistamine, for three days. He was transferred to the hospital on the fourth day with “an altered mental status,” ccording to a June 2012 investigation report. The Department of Health cited the operators for allowing an unlicensed staff person without adequate training to schedule medications for the resident.”

The Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represents clients in cases involving catastrophic injury caused by nursing homes and other care facilities that fail to provide proper care. We have extensive experience representing clients in cases involving care facilities that fail to properly care for residents with seizure disorders and that fail to provide residents with essential medications. If you believe your loved one has been harmed due neglect or abuse in a nursing home or other care facility, take action and contact the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm online or call us toll-free at (877) 552-2873 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation
consultation.

Medicare Probe Reveals Continuing Widespread Problem of Patient Injuries

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

July 3, 2014

A recent Medicare study reveals an epidemic of patient injuries sustained in American hospitals. The most common injury to acquire while under the care of a hospital is an infection. Medicare will begin a program of sanctioning the worst performing quarter of American hospitals starting this year. Despite the success some hospitals have had in their efforts towards harm reduction, infections are still all too common. According to an estimate by the Center for Disease Control, 75,000 patients died of hospital-acquired infections in 2011.

Hospital Acquired Conditions (HACs) are usually infections that develop as the result of improper care. A common HAC is an infection developed from a catheter, whether said catheter is used to administer medication directly to the blood stream or to remove urine from the bladder. Another common HAC that threatens patients are the avoidable injuries such as bedsores, hip fractures, blood clots, or accidental lung punctures.

For the full story on Medicare’s investigation and response click here.

The Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represents clients in cases involving catastrophic injury caused by care facilities that fail to provide proper care. If you believe your loved one has been harmed due neglect or abuse in a care facility, take action and contact the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm online or call us toll-free at (877) 552-2873 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.

Neglect at Faribault Care Center Results in Resident Developing Cellulitis

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

July 2, 2014

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has completed its investigation of neglect concerns at the Faribault Care Center, a nursing home in Faribault, Minnesota.  A complaint was filed with the MDH alleging that neglect of care had caused a resident to develop cellulitis. The MDH also investigated additional complaints alleging that residents were not receiving requisite assistance with eating, dressing, and grooming and that the bathrooms were not clean. The MDH investigated the matter and found that the facility staff had failed to perform wound care as ordered by the physician. The resident was hospitalized with necrotic tissue and sepsis. The facility was additionally determined to be deficient in incontinence care, infection control, environmental sanitation, and resident grooming. The MDH determined that the facility responsible for neglect of the resident.  [Case no. H5098066]

Click here to read our previous blog about the Faribault Care Center and its history of deficiencies. Medicare rates nursing homes, including this 55-bed nursing home facility.  Medicare assigned an overall rating to the Faribault Care Center as a “much below average” facility.  In addition, Medicare assigned a “much below average” rating to the nursing home based on the government’s health inspections of the facility.

The Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represents clients in cases involving catastrophic injury caused by nursing homes and other care facilities that fail to provide proper care. If you believe your loved one has been harmed due neglect or abuse in a nursing home or other care facility, take action and contact the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm online or call us toll-free at (877) 552-2873 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.

Resident of York Garden Assisted Living Facility Abused by Care Staff

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

July 2, 2014

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has completed its investigation of abuse concerns at the York Garden, an assisted living facility in Edina, Minnesota.  A complaint was filed with the MDH alleging that a client at York Garden was abused by a caretaker and did not receive appropriate care. The MDH investigated the matter and found that the caregiver on at least two occasions spoke to the client in a loud, critical, and derogatory manner. The caregiver repeatedly insulted and demeaned the client who suffers from dementia. The caregiver also failed to escort the client to meals resulting in an unsafe weight loss. The MDH determined that the care giver is responsible for abuse of the facility’s resident.  [Case no. HL27800003]

The Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represents clients in cases involving catastrophic injury caused by nursing homes and other care facilities that fail to provide proper care. If you believe your loved one has been harmed due neglect or abuse in a nursing home or other care facility, take action and contact the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm online or call us toll-free at (877) 552-2873 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.

Blaine Assisted Living Facility Neglects Resident’s Need for Medication

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

June 30, 2014

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has completed its investigation of neglect concerns at the Blaine White Pine, an assisted living facility in Blaine, Minnesota.  A complaint was filed with the MDH alleging that a client failed to receive a prescribed medication for one month. It is also alleged that the staff responsible for the medication was not adequately trained. The MDH investigated the matter and found that the client, who has been diagnosed with dementia, depression, recurrent urinary tract infections, and coronary artery disease, did not receive their prescribed mirtazapine for 30 days.  The MDH determined that the facility is responsible for of the facility’s resident.  [Case no. HL26857003]

The Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represents clients in cases involving catastrophic injury caused by nursing homes and other care facilities that fail to provide proper care. If you believe your loved one has been harmed due neglect or abuse in a nursing home or other care facility, take action and contact the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm online or call us toll-free at (877) 552-2873 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.

Neglect at Augustana Nursing Home Sends Resident to Emergency Room for Head Injury

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

June 29, 2014

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has completed its investigation of neglect concerns at the Augustana Health Care Center of Minneapolis, a nursing home in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  A complaint was filed with the MDH alleging that neglect occurred when a resident fell and sustained a head injury. The resident was non-ambulatory and required total assistance of two staff members and a mechanical lift for transfers. The MDH investigated the matter and found that, on the day of the fall, the employee left resident unsupervised in the room with the patient’s bed at waist height with no precautionary safety measures in place. [Case no. H5242090]

For more information about the Augustana Health Care Center in Minneapolis, click here to read our previous blog about this nursing home.

The Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represents clients in cases involving catastrophic injury caused by nursing homes and other care facilities that fail to provide proper care. If you believe your loved one has been harmed due neglect or abuse in a nursing home or other care facility, take action and contact the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm online or call us toll-free at (877) 552-2873 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.