A Resident Death and a Fleeing Lead to Huge Fines

Nursing homes are generally overseen by state health departments, who may issue fines if the facility has any health violations. Such violations can include citations related to cleanliness, patient-to-staff ratios, and other minor instances. Some of the more serious violations can occur if a resident dies as a result of an infraction or if a resident known for having dementia or Alzheimer’s manages to wander from the facility. One facility has been fined for both the death of a resident and a second resident wandering from the home, the Argus-Dispatch reports.

Asperion Care Moline was fined a total of $75,000 for two unrelated incidents. The facility was notified of the fines in November.

The first fine of $50,000 was assessed in August after the strangulation death of a resident. The second fine of $25,000 was given after a resident wandered from the facility in October.

The two incidents resulted in 12 code violations – six per incident.

On the night of August 11, a male resident was found hanging from his bedrails by the ties of his nightgown. He was unresponsive. In an interview, his roommate said that he pressed the call button when the man got out of bed to get his coat. It took 15-20 minutes for a nurse’s aide to respond to the call. A further 20 minutes passed before an ambulance arrived. No CPR was administered between the nurse’s aide discovering the patient.

It was later discovered that only 3 of the 16 nurse aides on the night shift were certified in CPR.

In October, a patient equipped with a wander guard was found walking the streets ion 38-degree weather. He was wearing only gym shorts, a t-shirt, and shoes with no socks. Surveillance footage revealed the resident had escaped through an unlocked rear door. The security system in place to sound an alarm for residents at risk for wandering was not functioning.

He left the facility at 5:35 a.m. and a “code pink” for a missing resident was issued at 6:30. He was reported missing to authorities an hour after the code pink was issued.