Alton Rehab and Nursing Center in Alton, Illinois, was fined $25,000 by the Illinois Department of Health and Human Services for nursing center neglect.
According to the report, the Alton Rehab and Nursing Center failed to properly assess, identify, and treat residents in their care who suffer from bed sores. Despite their innocuous sounding name, bed sores are one of the most dangerous and lethal examples of nursing home neglect found in nursing homes and hospitals. They’re also known as “pressure ulcers” and “decubitus ulcers” and, if allowed to go untreated, bed sores can lead to an open wound that exposes bone.
Nursing homes are required to have a program to prevent and treat bed sores. This program must operate on a 24/7 basis to ensure that a resident who enters a nursing home or facility without bed sores doesn’t develop them. If a resident enters the facility with an already existing sore, the condition must not deteriorate while in the nursing home’s care.
Based on the report, three residents at the Alton Rehab and Nursing Center developed bed sores that could have been avoided if modern techniques and equipment had been utilized by the Alton Rehab and Nursing Center. A Wound Clinic Report states that “Patient continues to be placed for hours on end seated or semirecumbent in a geri chair which probably dates back to the 1970s.” The report documents dozens of incidents reflecting improper care for the residents. Orders for special low air loss mattresses that reduce the likelihood of bed sores worsening were ignored for weeks.
Special treatments were administered every three days rather than every two. In several instances, medication was applied to a sore without any gauze or dressing whatsoever. Many of these incidents are textbook cases of nursing home neglect. Bed sores are typically caused by poor hygiene, dehydration, dampness, and constant pressure typically associated with being left in one position for an extended length of time.
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