Chronic Nursing Home Abuse in Southern California

DSC_0761-300x199Chronic nursing home abuse that results in frequent trips to hospitals and intensive care units is a problem in San Diego County and throughout Southern California. According to a recent article in the Compton Herald, a chronic nursing home neglect case in Inglewood highlights the risk of serious injuries in particular facilities and the threat of continuing healthcare violations. In the recent case, the facility, Centinela Skilled Nursing & Wellness Centre, is one of numerous facilities owned by the Los Angeles billionaire Schlomo Y. Rechnitz, which are operated under the chain name of Brius Healthcare Services and have already came under scrutiny in 2016. Does the recent case suggest that Southern California residents need to be wary of this healthcare chain? What can family members do to help prevent nursing home abuse and neglect?

Details of the Recent Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Case

As the article reports, a Southern California woman was admitted into the Centinela Skilled Nursing & Wellness Centre in Inglewood, where she was supposed to obtain rehabilitative services after being discharged from the Centinela Hospital Medical Center. While in the hospital, the patient had received care for about six weeks for “a severe body infection.” When she enters Centinela Skilled Nursing, her family members indicated that she was “progressing steadily,” recuperating from the infection that required her hospitalization. However, when the family visited her at the nursing facility a short time later, they found her “sitting in a wheelchair in a seemingly catatonic state, trembling uncontrollably, mumbling jibberish with her eyes rolling back in her head.”

The family members immediately sought out an on-duty nurse. They reported that the nurse “appeared nervous,” yet insisted that the patient was in a “normal” condition. The family called 911 after being informed that the patient could not be transported to a hospital without approval from a staff doctor, and even then, the patient would need to be transported to “the facility’s contract hospital” which was 45 minutes away. The patient’s family had her transported back to Centinela Hospital Medical Center, which is across the street from the skilled nursing facility. There, she was diagnosed with “a urinary tract infection, a bacterial intestinal infection, pneumonia, an accelerated heart rate, and a fever of 104 degrees.”

This is not the only case of alleged nursing home abuse to arise from treatment at Centinela Skilled Nursing & Wellness Centre. As the article explains, in 2014, a 68-year-old patient was admitted to the facility for rehabilitative care but died only five weeks later. Like the recent patient’s situation, this patient “was rushed to a hospital in critical condition, suffering from pneumonia, dehydration, and a critically low body temperature of only 80 degrees.”

Are Certain Facilities More Dangerous Than Others?

Elder safety advocates have voiced concerns about Centinela Skilled Nursing and the 80 other facilities in California owned by Rechnitz. The Compton Herald article highlights that Rechnitz owns about one out of every 14 nursing home beds in the state of California, and his facilities have routinely been subject to complaints about nursing home abuse and neglect. Both residents and family members of patients at Brius Healthcare Services facilities argue that there is “a chronic pattern of substandard care.” The California attorney general had filed actions against Brius, and the facilities have been subject to government sanctions. However, many of the facilities remain operational.

There are seven Brius facilities in the San Diego region. It is important to research a facility and its records before entrusting it with the care of an elderly loved one.

Contact a San Diego Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

Do you have concerns about an elderly loved one’s quality of care in a nearby nursing home? An experienced nursing home abuse lawyer in San Diego can help. Contact the Walton Law Firm today for more information.

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(image courtesy of Erdene Bayar)