Report: Nursing home put residents at risk during storm
A North Carolina nursing home put its residents in ‘immediate danger’ when it failed to adopt a contingency plan, leaving just three people to care for 98 residents during a storm in January , according to a state report released Monday.
The News & Observer account says the state Department of Health and Human Services report says police arrived at Pine Ridge Health and Rehabilitation Center on the night of Jan. 16 after receiving a 911 call. of a resident who complained of not seeing staff members for a “long period of time. Police found two residents dead and two others in critical condition inside the nursing home.
The report describes a chaotic scene at the nursing home, located in Thomasville, about 110 kilometers northeast of Charlotte. It says residents were without food and needed medication, and patients wandered behind the dementia unit nursing station and put unidentified objects in their mouths. A police officer said the only nurse on duty had been on duty for 4 p.m. and “nearly burst into tears”.
The officer said five or six call lights were on in the hallway, some rooms smelled of urine and feces, and others had trash on the floors, the report said.
A previous statement from Pine Ridge Health said the deaths were “medically unrelated” to personnel issues caused by the storm.
A trustee told inspectors the nursing home had been “full on paper”, but staff who were due to arrive on the morning of January 16 did not show up. The director of nursing said she called staff to ask them to come to work, but some did not answer their phones and others said they could not come because of the poor condition roads.
The nursing home acknowledged the problems and took steps to bring the facility back into compliance, according to the report. A woman who answered the phone at Pine Ridge Health on Monday said the nursing home would not comment on the inspection report.