Personal Injury

Florida Nursing Home Probed After Death of Severely Sunburned Resident

sunburn blisters wikimedia commons 280x210 Florida Nursing Home Probed After Death of Severely Sunburned ResidentA Florida nursing home already on the state’s “watch list” of problem facilities is being investigated for possible abuse and neglect after the weekend death of a 65-year old resident who had been left in the sun on a 90-degree day.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, Pinellas Park police said Wilbert Henry Moten, as wheelchair-bound resident of Gracewood Rehabilitation and Nursing Care, was taken to the hospital around 6:15 p.m. Saturday covered with second-degree burns and blisters and displaying symptoms of dehydration after being left in the sun for much of the day Saturday. He died later in the evening of heart failure.

So far investigators have determined that Mr. Moten was being looked after by a certified nursing assistant at 3 p.m. Saturday, but are still trying to determine what events occurred earlier in the day that caused the patient’s injuries.

The Tampa Bay Times reports that Gracewood has been hit with fines at least three times since late 2012.

Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration sued the nursing facility in 2014, alleging unsafe use of mechanical wheelchair lifts used to pick up patients and reposition them. The complaint was filed after two residents were badly injured while being moved to a wheelchair.

In June 2014, a 93-year-old patient fell from the lift while being moved to a wheelchair, causing a brain hemorrhage when she struck her head on a shower chair. She died a few days after the injury. State investigators found that the mechanical lift had been fitted with an inappropriate sling and unsafe sling.

Earlier in 2014, an 80-year-old resident cut his head after falling from a mechanical lift. The injury required a doctor to staple his wound shut.

In 2012, Gracewood did not dispute allegations that it failed to assess a resident’s untreated leg fractures, failed to report his symptoms to his doctor, and failed to report his claim of abuse. The nursing home also didn’t dispute allegations of neglect after two residents with broken and decaying teeth failed to receive any dental care.

The nursing home settled the state’s complaint in 2014 by agreeing to pay $2,500 in penalties.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, Gracewood ranks in the bottom 20 percent of nursing facilities in its region for administration, quality of care, quality of life, and overall quality.

Source: Tampa Bay Times