State Fines Newport Beach and Yorba Linda Nursing Homes for Deaths from Poor Care

Categories: Doctor's Orders
emeritus_yorba-linda.jpg
Emeritus at Yorba Linda
Newport Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Newport Beach and Emeritus at Yorba Linda received Class "AA" citations, the most severe penalty under state law, for inadequate care that led to a death at each nursing home this year. After California Department of Public Health (CDPH) investigations into each facility, Newport Nursing and Rehabilitation Center was fined $100,000 and Emeritus at Yorba Linda received a $90,000 fine.

Newport Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, 1555 Superior Ave., was dinged for failing to provide adequate safety measures and supervision that led to the patient's death, state public health officer Dr. Ron Chapman announced today.

newport-nursing-and-rehabilitation-center.jpg
Newport Nursing and Rehabilitation Center also resembles a lodge inside.
According to the CDPH citation, a woman who was convalescing at Newport Nursing and Rehabilitation Center after falling and breaking her hip at home was found in the bathroom of her room face down, unresponsive and with no pulse just before 11 a.m. on Sept. 6. Not breathing and having no heart beat, the woman was rushed to the emergency department, where she was pronounced dead shortly after 3 p.m.

Because the woman had a history of falling, including the one that broke the bone that put her in the recovery facility, it was required that two staff members always help her on and off the toilet and assist her cleaning up. This requirement was noted dozens of times in the facility's own patient log for her leading up to that fateful day. The records also mentioned the woman had been slipping deeper into dementia the longer she was at the center.

On the day the woman died, records show only one nurse helped the woman to the bathroom door, which was shut behind her when she requested privacy. The nurse then called out for a second staffer to watch the woman and left for lunch. That second person never arrived. A maintenance worker who came into the patient's room while doing light inspections saw neither her nor the nurse, opened the bathroom door and found the unresponsive woman.

The nurse who had accompanied the woman to the bathroom door no longer works at Newport Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. But the CDPH did not let the facility off the hook. The citation orders the nursing home to identify all remaining patients who have a risk of falling (in other words, just about all of them). Care plans must be devised for each one, noting the potential risks and ways to avoid them. All falls must be reported to other staff at daily briefings and audited on a regular basis by supervisors who can then implement further care.
 
The CDPH cited no problems with the life-saving efforts undertaken at the facility after the woman was discovered with mortal head wounds. Her family made the gut-wrenching decision to take her off a ventilator before she passed away.

Chapman disclosed today that Emeritus, 17803 Imperial Highway, failed to serve a diet as prescribed resulting in a patient choking and then dying. A female patient in the facility's care was supposed to be served soft food only, including meats that were either ground or chopped. But on June 1, she was served a ham sandwich for lunch.

". . . Patient A was found unattended, unresponsive and cyanotic (blue color from lack of oxygen), with a partially eaten sandwich in front of her," reads the CDPH citation. "The Heimlich maneuver (an emergency technique used to prevent suffocation when a person is choking) was performed and was unsuccessful. Patient A was transferred to the acute hospital, where a large piece of meat was removed from her airway. Patient A was admitted to the intensive care unit, where she remained unconscious and died six days later from cardiac and respiratory arrest due to foreign body aspiration (choking)."

Besides serving her meat that had not been ground or chopped as previously specified by the woman's physician, Emeritus staff failed to properly monitor her while she ate, the CDPH probe found.

To prevent a similar tragedy, the state agency has identified other patients with special dietary needs. The state has ordered: special training of nurses and other staff to monitor the food intake of patients requiring them; daily food audits by the director of nursing (or that official's designee); and bi-weekly visual audits by nurses.

A quality assurance committee at Emeritus will regularly review these measures. Meanwhile, the nursing home must also alert receiving facilities of the special dietary needs of patients who transfer to them.


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9 comments
MumsDaughter
MumsDaughter

Do not let the nice exterior fool you.  This facility is rated 1 star for a good reason.  The care is abysmal boarding on dangerous. 

My mother had a PICC line; the nurses there did not know how to draw blood from it.  The first time they tried they did not do it correctly so her lab results were suspicious.  They then sent her to the St. Jude emergency room.  The emergency room doctor reran the tests and they came back fine.  Bottom line:  they had drawn the blood incorrectly.  He stated that he would consul them on the correct way to draw blood from a PICC line. 

After that episode, the Phlebotomists would try to draw blood by sticking her arm.  We had to go to the Director of Nursing; Grace not once, not twice, but three times before we could get the staff at Emeritus to only draw blood from her PICC line and only trusted one nurse to do it correctly.

They neglected cleaning and applying a new bandage in the area around her G-Tube on a daily basis.  The Doctor had to issue an order to have it changed and cleaned and now dated (since they could not be relied on to change it).  They still did not comply with the Doctor’s orders.  So he issued new orders; to have the bandage changed three times a day.  They still did not comply with the Doctor’s order.  (We had pictures.)  When I brought this up to the Director of Nursing; Grace, she stated, “It is not in our policy to date a bandage.”  I replied, “You were only issued those orders from the Doctor because your facility could not even change it once a day.  We have pictures to prove that.”  Her reply was, “We do not allow you to take pictures here.”

The Director of Nursing , Grace, said in a telephone conversation to me, “If you do not like the care that your mother is getting, move her.”

My mother finally left this facility only after her outside Doctor insisted that they call 911 and send her to the emergency at St. Jude;  she was in such a deteriorated state of health.

When she got to the St. Jude emergency room we found out the she had a Pressure Sore.  Pressure sores or bed sores are the result of lack of care by a facility and can constitute Elder Abuse.  My mother never experienced pressure sores before coming to this facility.

Rick524
Rick524

Newport nursing and rehab is the finest skilled nursing and short term rehab center in orange county. Many prominent people who have have gone to rehab at the facility will swear by that. Unfortunately a horrible accident occurred. But this by no means defines this facility. Patients are treated with the utmost care, respect, and dignity. They have the best in my opinion therapists and nursing department run by a company who truly cares for their patients and their families.

Safetybunns
Safetybunns

All of these sad but true events are occurring everywhere!! The nurse/aide/patient ratio is getting worse.  Many of us  "old school" nurses have had it with the politics. What happened to the patients and their families being the #1 concern?  Many of my friends who have been nurses for 30 plus years are moving on with other careers due to the stress and lack of support.  I am one of those nurses.  These ongoing incidents have inspired me to start my own business, SafetyBunns LLC, non-slip pants, which I also designed/invented.  My idea occurred while working with my clients, witnessing many of them repeatedly falling/sliding from their chires, beds and wheelchairs. Some of these incidents caused serious injuries of which they never recovered and often caused institutionalization at long term care facilities, hospitals or death. SafetyBunns Non-Slip Pants is a product designed to use friction by forming a gathering and causing immobility between the pants and the seat. The nonrestrictive leg bottoms allow for easy movement from chair to chair without hassle.My new business allows me to continue to assist patients and their families.  Also, I continue to educate and provide information of services that are available to them. You can visit my website @yahoo.com.

anonymous
anonymous

 I worked at Emeritus and was employed there and knew this patient.  She was the sweetest kindest lady. Spoke very softly. My heart went out to the family when this happened. Very tragic indeed! I was saddened  as were the rest of the staff.  But at the same time  I became angry.  I became angry at Emeritus.  Many people on the outside do not really know the potential hazards of having a family member in a nursing home like Emeritus. Although we try our best to provide excellent care, we are pushed beyond our limits.The patient to nurse ratio is not adequate to provide safe care. Although we may meet the "legal" ratio requirements, they are by far not enough to provide safe and effective care.  Im not surprised this happened.  And I can guarantee that it will happen again if the state does not implement some changes to the patient to nurse ratio in nursing facilities.  Emeritus is a business and it is ran like a business. Their main  goal is the bottom line! (how much profit they make).  The owners and share holders only care about the money. We as nurses work hard and sometimes off the clock (i know its illegal). But no matter how hard we work, its never enough. We are constantly told that "there's too much overtime'.  Staff is constantly cut to the bare minimum.  Emeritus goal is the highest census with the lowest possible cost.  But I dont blame the directors of Emeritus at  Yorba Linda. I blame the owners.  Directors are a dime a dozen. If they dont implement the owners demands they will be fired.  Ive worked at many nursing homes and  Emeritus is by far the one that is more Business driven.  In my opinion, it should be about patient care, and not about the bottom line.  Emeritus is a multi-million dollar corporation.  Just look at what the CEO, Ganger Cobbs made 2010.  Almost 3 million in compensation.  If Emeritus cared about their patients, they should  pay the CEO less and  spend a little more on staffing.

facebook-579372824
facebook-579372824

What is disgusting about this article is the fact the Newport Beach facility was operated by Sun Healthcare Group Inc in 2003 when 5 patients died from their repeated under staffing and known broken equipment I was eyewitness to.  I forewarned the CEO at the time, Richard K Matros, who resides in Newport Beach and owns numerous ocean front residences, 6 months in advance of my mother's harm and he continued to ignore our pleas for help.  When she was harmed by his arrogance I sued for wrongful death, was lied to by a corrupt attorney I successfully sued for malpractice, and died 2 weeks after learning I'd retained the law firm to sue him.  That CEO attempted to obtain a restrainding order against me upon learning I was suing for malpractice because I could prove his wilfull misconduct, yet Judge Gregory Jones stated, "He's the dangerous one, NO.  She proved he killed her mother certainly she can state it, freedom of speech..."  I have a letter dated Nov 11, 2011 from Dept of Health & Human Services that states they're investigating why Sun was never punished for the five deaths I witnessed they caused in 2003 in Newport Beach, California. 

www.sunhealthcaregroupinc.blog...

Deb Calvert, Newport Beach, California

facebook-579372824
facebook-579372824

Pay the CEO less -this is what is wrong with corporate Amercia today: GREED

Rick524
Rick524

This is a completely different facility run by a completely different company. The whole thing was remodeled, redone, all new staffing, equipment. To even compare it to that other company, administrator is a completely unfair illustration of how everything is now.

Anonymous
Anonymous

  I worked at Emeritus and was employed there and knew this patient.  She was the sweetest kindest lady. Spoke very softly. My heart went out to the family when this happened. Very tragic indeed! I was saddened  as were the rest of the staff.  But at the same time  I became angry.  I became angry at Emeritus.  Many people on the outside do not really know the potential hazards of having a family member in a nursing home like Emeritus. Although we try our best to provide excellent care, we are pushed beyond our limits.The patient to nurse ratio is not adequate to provide safe care. Although we may meet the "legal" ratio requirements, they are by far not enough to provide safe and effective care.  Im not surprised this happened.  And I can guarantee that it will happen again if the state does not implement some changes to the patient to nurse ratio in nursing facilities.  Emeritus is a business and it is ran like a business. Their main  goal is the bottom line! (how much profit they make).  The owners and share holders only care about the money. We as nurses work hard and sometimes off the clock (i know its illegal). But no matter how hard we work, its never enough. We are constantly told that "there's too much overtime'.  Staff is constantly cut to the bare minimum.  Emeritus goal is the highest census with the lowest possible cost.  But I dont blame the directors of Emeritus at  Yorba Linda. I blame the owners.  Directors are a dime a dozen. If they dont implement the owners demands they will be fired.  Ive worked at many nursing homes and  Emeritus is by far the one that is more Business driven.  In my opinion, it should be about patient care, and not about the bottom line.  Emeritus is a multi-million dollar corporation.  Just look at what the CEO, Ganger Cobbs made 2010.  Almost 3 million in compensation.  If Emeritus cared about their patients, they should  pay the CEO less and  spend a little more on staffing. 

debdeb2080
debdeb2080

@Rick524 Yep that is what these companies do, they sell, remodel and put on a new "face".  The CEOs get rich while the elderly suffer.  It is a form of elder abuse and should be criminal, but it's not.  Called corporate greed.  Rick Matros, formerly of Sun Healthcare is so rich he can now produce Hollywood motion pictures.  See him with Melanie Griffith in his latest feature film: DARK TOURIST.  I could make a film called dark killer with him in the lead. 

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