IDPH has cited and fined North Aurora Care Center after staff members failed to intervene with a dietary review or nutritional intervention as a resident lost nearly 24% of her body weight over three months.
Maintaining good nutritional status is key for preserving the health of a nursing home resident. When good nutrition is not maintained, the resident is at risk for developing bed sores, suffering infection, and having other adverse health events. A “significant weight loss” is a weight loss of:
- 5% in one month;
- 7.5% in 3 months; or
- 10% in 6 months.
The resident at issue weighed 193 pounds when she entered the facility. Over a period of approximately six weeks the resident lost 22 pounds, or 11.4% of her body weight, weighing in at 171 pounds.
At this point the registered Dietician recommended weekly weights for a period of four weeks.
However, the next weight reading was not for another 6 weeks. The resident weighed in at 147 pounds, equating to an additional 14% loss and a cumulative loss of 23.83% over a total of three months.
As if that were not bad enough, during this period of extreme weight loss the resident received some critical lab results that sent her to the ER with an ultimate diagnosis of rhabdomyolysis (a complex medical condition involving the rapid dissolution of damaged or injured muscle).
Upon return to the nursing home, the hospital dietician recommended meal supplements to help the resident regain strength. That recommendation apparently fell upon deaf ears, as no changes were made to the resident’s meals after returning to the facility and the resident continued to shed weight at an alarming rate.
When the state examiner visited the nursing home and interviewed the dietitian, she/he proclaimed “I would definitely be investigating a resident with significant weight loss and would follow up the next month once weight loss was identified.”
The resident’s records document no dietitian review or nutritional interventions ordered over the three month period of significant weight loss.
Apparently, the resident was left to waste away on her own, without intervention from her caregivers.
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