IDPH has cited and fined St. Anthony’s Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Rock Island for failing to treat a resident for pain during wound care. Click the link in the prior sentence to check out the actual citation issued by IDPH. It is really disturbing reading.
The resident at issue was suffering from cellulitis of both lower legs. As a result there were open, weeping blisters on both legs. He was sent to the hospital for treatment and when he was discharged, he received a prescription for Norco, a pain medication. He ripped it up believing that this was the same order that he had before he went to the hospital. When he came back from the hospital, the pain medication was discontinued. Despite the fact that the discharge instructions included continuing pain medication for supportive care, no one from the nursing home called the doctor or the hospital to resolve the discrepancy. As a result he did not receive the pain medication that was ordered for him.
The citation graphically describes the results of what happened when he began to receive wound care without the pain medication:
- Before wound care began he described a pain level of 10+ like getting your finger on a hot stove all over his calf and that he had not been able to sleep the night before due to pain;
- When the nurse began unwrapping the dressings, he jumped with each touch, furrowed his brow, and grabbed the arm rests of his wheelchair, and said, “I wish I had a leather belt I could bite on so I don’t scream.”
- When he was offered lunch he declined it saying that he couldn’t eat because he was so nauseous from the pain.
- When they began to work on the other leg, he said, ‘Oh my f***ing God, this hurts.” When asked if he was okay, he replied, “No, I am not okay. This hurts like holy hell.” While the nurse continued to dress the leg, he writhed in pain and moaned.
Many nursing home residents experince severe pain as a result of wounds like bed sores due to the exposure of nerves under the skin. Failing to take steps to control the resident’s pain is a form of nursing home abuse.
This resident had been assessed as being at risk for severe pain, but the care plan did not properly address his pain control needs. Moreover, when the resident arrived back at the nursing home following his hospital admission without an order for pain medication, this is something that should have been resolved immediately by the nursing staff with the doctor and/or hospital. Past that, when the resident was experiencing the kind of severe pain described in the citation, it was the nurse’s responsibility to notify the doctor that the resident was having that kind of pain and to obtain an order for pain medication. Allowing this resident to suffer in the way that he did was inhumane.
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 results. 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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