Personal Injury

Doctor warns of inadequate care at D.C. nursing home

A Washington, D.C.-area emergency room doctor fed up with seeing so many patients from one area nursing home sick from obvious neglect, spoke to ABC 7/News Channel 8 to warn others of the poor care offered at the home.

The doctor said he routinely sees patients from Grand Park Care Center on the verge of death with serious conditions ranging from acute kidney problems, severe pneumonia and malnutrition. He said the conditions indicate neglect by caregivers.

Inspection reports obtained by the television station from the D.C. Department of Health from February and May 2008, reveal numerous deficiencies including failure of nursing staff to notify a physician of a resident’s dehydration, and weight changes and anemia of a resident. According to Jerry Kasunic, D.C. long-term care ombudsman, his staff has filed more than 100 complaints with the Department of Health.

“The neglect and abuse we have seen there is unattended wound care (and) dehydration that has led to malnutrition,” Kasunic said in the report. He specifically reference a recent care where one man from the home entered the hospital critically malnourished. It was obvious to Kasunic that the patient, who was unable to communicate, had received no fluids of any kind.

The nursing home issued a statement saying it is committed to quality improvement and has since hired a new director of nursing and a compliance officer.

Both Kasunic and an inspector with the Department of Health say that the city’s health department needs to be more aggressive in ensuring patients in area nursing homes receive proper care.