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Nursing home neglect causes big problems for local patients

Stethoscope 3Nursing homes are regularly inspected by the state in Kentucky, and sometimes, those inspections find problems in patient care that are difficult to imagine. In September 2014, inspectors visited Signature HealthCare in Bowling Green, Kentucky,¬† and found that the staff had neglected to care for a patient’s hand wound to the point that maggots had infested the wound.

That resident, who had tumor on his or her hand, had lived at the facility for more than a year when the inspection occurred. The staff of the facility was required to monitor the wound and report back to the patient’s doctor of any changes. The staff made notes and monitored the wound through June 2014, but no more notes were made before the inspection in September 2014 – leaving the patient’s wound possibly unchecked and unmonitored for four months. The inspection reports indicate a change in nursing staff prompted the facility to change how it monitored the wound, and apparently left the patient vulnerable to problems.

Our local newspaper, The Daily News, reported on the inspection report and posted the story online today. The facility was required to create a plan to fix the problems, and a representative from the care facility told the Daily News that staff had addressed the problems. The facility director also noted that SignatureCare only bought the facility in Spring 2014 and had been working on making improvements.

In the same news report, details of another patient’s lack of care was noted. Another resident had a stomach wound from surgery that required monitoring, and even while the patient complained of increasing pain, the patient’s doctor was not contacted.

We feel for the residents, and the families of those involved, who must endure such nursing home neglect. Cleaning and dressing wounds are among the most basic of services, and every nursing home should be able to handle such tasks easily.

This facility has had chronic problems going back at least several years, and we are currently consulting with families concerning potential cases against this facility. The Daily News story notes that Medicare.gov has given the facility one star out of a possible five, “based on criteria that include health and fire safety inspections, staffing hours, the amount of time nurses spend with residents and quality of care.”

In 2012, when it was called Rosewood Health Care Center, the facility was hit with a $312,033 fine and denied both Medicare and Medicaid payments for new residents until it changed its procedures and fixed ongoing problems, the Daily News reported. But clearly, that wasn’t enough.

If you have had a loved one at Signature HealthCare or Rosewood Health Care Center, or you believe your loved one has received poor care at another nursing home, please contact us immediately to discuss your options. A lawsuit filed by concerned families can help push a nursing home to change its substandard practices. Contact English, Lucas, Priest and Owsley at (270) 781-6500 for a free consultation.