IDPH has cited and fined Westchester Nursing & Rehab after a resident there was scalded while taking a shower.
One of the inevitable facts of aging is that as we age, our skin gets thinner and less resilient. This is one of the factors that makes geriatric patients more at risk for things like bed sores and skin tears. Skin is also more vulnerable to injury when the resident suffers from malnutrition and/or dehydration. Because the skin is thinner and more fragile, special care must be taken to keep if from injury.
This bring us to the citation that was issued here. The resident was brought into the shower and left in the shower unattended for a period of 10 minutes. When the staff returned, the resident had redness and peeling of the skin and neck. The resident was taken to the emergency room and then transferred to the Intensive Care Unit at the local hospital with a burn unit. The physician there diagnosed the resident as suffering from partial thickness burns, an injury which does not happen when the water is below 131 degrees. When interviewed by the state surveyor, the maintenance director stated that the water was tested daily and was between 108-110 degrees. However, the state surveyor also interviewed a number of residents who uniformly described the water as being too hot, with one of them describing it as so hot “it could take feathers off a chicken.”
Maintaining the hot water heater properly so that it does not produce scalding hot water is a basic part of the nursing home’s responsibility to keep the property in safe condition for its residents, as defects in the property such as broken alarms, defective baseboard heaters, and the like can result in serious injury to the residents in the facility.
One of our core beliefs is that nursing homes are built to fail due to the business model they follow and that unnecessary accidental injuries and wrongful deaths of residents are the inevitable result. Order our FREE report, Built to Fail, to learn more about why. Our experienced Chicago nursing home lawyers are ready to help you understand what happened, why, and what your rights are. Contact us to get the help you need.
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