Iowa officials decided on a cost-savings measure that closed a mental hospital and transferred five patients to a below-average rated Iowa nursing home for care. The relocation of the patients from the mental hospital to the nursing home resulted in the reduction of daily costs per patient from $742 to $127.50, according to reports.
Three of the five former patients suffered harm while in the nursing home: one died, one suffered a fractured leg, and the other was not given her medications for six days. An Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals Health Facilities Division Citation states its findings that may result in fines of up to $13,500 being imposed on the nursing home.
The man who died as a result of the alleged improper care at the nursing home was 65-years-old when he was transferred from a geriatric psychiatric program at the mental hospital to the nursing home, on June 8, 2015. Nine days later, he was transported by ambulance from the nursing home to the hospital due to breathing problems, where he was diagnosed with severe dehydration and a collapsed lung. After eleven days in the hospital, he was transported to hospice care, where he died on July 1, 2015.
The woman who fractured her leg at the nursing home required special care when being moved due to her paralysis. When the nursing home staff was transferring her into the shower, the woman became entangled in the chair and heard her leg snap, allegedly due to the nursing home staff’s failure to properly use a safety belt when lifting the woman. The nursing home staff then lifted the woman again, put her in a chair, brought her to her room, and lifted her into bed. The woman was transported to the hospital, where it was determined that she had two fractures of her right leg.
A woman who was not given her medications for six days at the nursing home was a 63-year-old patient with severe diabetes and schizophrenia. She was supposed to receive the blood thinner Coumadin every day but the nursing home staff failed to do so for six consecutive days. The woman’s sister alleges that the patient’s mental and physical condition deteriorated substantially after her June 2, 2015 transfer from the mental hospital to the nursing home; the sister was subsequently able to have her transferred to a higher-rated nursing home that treats the elderly who have mental illnesses.
A spokesperson for the nursing home denies the findings of the investigation and stated the nursing home intends to appeal the findings and the proposed fines.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries (or worse) during a nursing home stay in Iowa or in another U.S. state due to nursing home neglect, nursing home negligence, or nursing home abuse, you should promptly contact a local nursing home claim lawyer in Iowa or in your U.S. state who may investigate your possible nursing home claim for you and file a nursing home claim on your behalf, if appropriate.
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