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Downtown Visalia; image courtesy of Capricorn90 via Wikimedia Commons, https://commons.wikimedia.org/

The California Department of Public Health recently announced the Redwood Springs Healthcare Center will have to pay a hefty fine “after a family of a patient said staff caused the death of their loved one.” Redwood Springs Healthcare Center is a nursing home facility in Visalia and was ordered to pay the $100,000 fine after being given a “Class AA citation, the most severe penalty under state law.

The fine came after the family of the deceased 81-year-old patient filed complaints against the nursing home, prompting the California Department of Public Health to launch an investigation into the matter. During the investigation, it was discovered that there were deficiencies at the nursing home “that directly led to the death of the patient at the facility.”

Image of an elderly woman
Image of an elderly woman; image courtesy of geralt via Pixabay, www.pixabay.com

For example, investigators discovered that the nursing home “failed to provide adequate supervision to an 81-year-old woman while she was using the toilet.” According to the investigation, the “patient fell and injured her head.” Unfortunately for her, the injury eventually resulted in her death.

Shortly after the fall, the patient’s family claims “they called the facility to check on her.” While staff members reportedly told a member of the patient’s family that she was “doing great,” when family members arrived for a visit on August 31 they found her unresponsive and covered in sweat.

According to the complaint, when one family member asked a nurse what was wrong, the nurse said, “she’s probably just tired from the fall.” However, the family insisted on taking the older woman to the hospital. At the hospital, doctors informed the family that the patient’s fall caused her brain to swell. Tragically, she died six days later.

In the complaint, the family said, “They [the facility] shouldn’t have left her. They knew she couldn’t sit up on her own.”

What happened, exactly? How did the patient fall? Well, according to the investigation, the woman “fell when one of the two Certified Nursing Assistant helping the woman use the toilet turned around to pick up clothes.” In the end, the investigation concluded:

“Staff failed to supervise [the woman] while she was using the toilet. This failure resulted in her falling and hitting her head on the floor, causing bleeding inside her skull.”

The statement added:

“By providing nursing facilities it licenses with consequences for substantiated violations, CDPH strives to protect the health and safety of vulnerable individuals. The citation process is part of CDPH’s ongoing enforcement efforts in improving the quality of care provided to residents of the State’s approximately 1,200 skilled nursing facilities.”

Redwood Springs Health Care has yet to comment on the incident or fine.

Sources:

Visalia nursing home hit with hefty fine after patient death

Visalia nursing home leaves patient on toilet to fall, resulting in death, state says

 

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