Buena Vida Continuing Care & Rehab Center received 23 citations for violations of public health code between 2015 and 2019, according to New York State Department of Health records accessed on January 16, 2020. The Brooklyn nursing home’s citations resulted from a total of five surveys by state inspectors. The deficiencies they describe include the following:
1. The nursing home did not take adequate measures to prevent accidents. Section 483.25 of the Federal Code requires nursing home facilities to remain “as free of accident hazards as is possible” and to provide residents with adequate supervision and assistance to prevent accidents. An August 2019 citation found that Buena Vida Continuing Care & Rehab did not ensure one of its residents was free of accident and injury. The citation specifically found that the resident was served a dinner tray that included two cups of hot water. The resident was attempting to prepare tea when one of the cups spilled hot water onto her thighs, causing her to sustain an injury. The citation states that there was no documented instructions for facility staff regarding safe water temperatures when reheating water in the microwave, and that the incident resulted in “actual harm” to the resident.
2. The nursing home failed to ensure residents’ drug regimens were free from unnecessary medications. Section 483.45 of the Federal Code requires nursing homes to keep “each resident’s drug regimen… free from unnecessary drugs.” A May 2019 citation found that Buena Vida Continuing Care & Rehab used Valporic acid to treat a resident’s anxiety disorder and another unspecified condition “without ordering labs to monitor the Valporic acid levels” in the resident. The citation states that there was no evidence lab work was performed to test and monitor the acid levels, and notes that the facility’s Medical Director stated in an interview that “labs should have been done on the Valporic acid levels at least every 6 months even as a baseline.”
3. The nursing home did not take adequate measures to prevent and control infection. Section 483.80 of the Federal Code stipulates that nursing home facilities must “establish and maintain an infection prevention and control program” designed to create a “safe, sanitary and comfortable environment” for residents. A May 2019 citation found that the nursing home did not ensure such an environment to prevent the transmission of infections and communicable diseases. The staff specifically notes that a resident’s oxygen tubing was observed lying on the floor; staff were observed picking up a resident’s meal ticket from the floor and putting it on the resident’s meal tray; and the facility had not ensured the development and implementation of a water management program to identify and test for legionella and other water-borne pathogens. The citation states that these deficiencies had the “potential to cause more than minimal harm.”
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Thomas L. Gallivan, PLLC work diligently to protect the rights of nursing home residents. Please contact us to discuss in the event you have a potential case involving neglect or abuse.