The Arthur Home in Arthur, Illinois was fined $18,300 by the state of Illinois for nursing home neglect that resulted in a life threatening situation for one of their residents. The fine was for substandard care that resulted in numerous bedsores, and the $18,300 is higher than a standard fine for a bedsore-related nursing home neglect fine.
What makes this report so striking (and the fine higher than standard, I imagine) is that the neglect cited in the Arthur Home violation report was taking place on the day that the inspectors were at the Arthur Home facility. Usually, when a nursing home knows that inspectors are going to be present, the administration significantly boosts staffing levels for the duration of the inspection. As a result, the fines that are usually imposed for bedsores or pressure sores are the result of the persistent nature of those ailments rather than for behavior that the inspectors are personally witnessing.
Bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers, come in four stages that describe a wide variance in severity. Stage 1 bedsores are barely detectable while stage 4 ulcers are the deepest and can penetrate to the bone. What all bedsores have in common is their persistence. Bedsores aren’t cured in a day or a week, nor do they develop on such a rapid time frame.
Curing a bedsore requires diligent care administered around the clock. Bedsores are caused by the hallmarks of nursing home neglect: poor nutrition and hydration, wet, unchanged linens, and being left unturned for long stretches of time.
The timeline described in the report is nursing home neglect in its most common form: there is no malevolence or anger, just ignorance and ambivalence to the suffering of a fellow human being.
At 11:15 AM, on the morning of the violation, the resident was transferred from her bed to her wheelchair and left beside her bed. She had a stage 4 bedsore she had already acquired at the facility. Standard procedure at the Arthur Home or any nursing home would require that she be readjusted at least every 2 hours and routinely checked for dryness.
Instead, she was ignored until 3:35 PM when two Certified Nurse Assistants (CNA) arrived to wheel her to the dining room for a meal. At 6:PM, three CNAs put her back in her bed. She had not been moved or changed in almost 7 hours.
The next day, 4 new openings were identified in her skin.
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