June 26, 2017
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MICHIGAN CITY, INDIANA — The family of a former patient of Aperion Care Arbors in Michigan City who was found with advanced pressure sores (aka “bed sores”) on both buttocks, his sacrum/coccyx, and both heels, has filed a proposed complaint with the Indiana Department of Insurance alleging the “negligent operation and management of the facility” by those responsible for the nursing home.

The complaint alleges that the nursing home knew the elderly patient was at risk for pressure sores, and failed to properly turn and reposition him and float his heels while he was in bed.  “Too many nursing home patients in Indiana are needlessly developing pressure sores. These are extremely serious and painful injuries, and in many cases can be life-threatening,” said Jeff Powless, one of the attorneys representing the family who filed the claim.

The complaint alleges that the advanced pressure sores forced the patient to “endure extensive treatment, debility, and human suffering.” According to the complaint, one of the pressure sores was a Stage IV wound, was 4 centimeters deep, had “signs and symptoms of infection,” and had “foul purulent drainage” and a “foul odor.”

ISDH INVESTIGATIONS

According to the complaint, investigations conducted at the nursing home by the Indiana State Department of Health (“ISDH”) revealed serious care violations that “demonstrated systemic failures in the hiring, staffing, training, and management of the Nursing Home staff.” The complaint alleges that the care violations evidence a “callous disregard for the rights, safety, welfare and dignity of its patient population.”

According to the complaint, a December 5, 2014 ISDH Statement of Deficiencies and Plan of Correction report confirmed that the the nursing home management and/or staff:

  • called patients “feeders” instead of by their names;
  • ●failed to give a patient scheduled showers when they were supposed to;
  • ●failed to make sure a patient’s call light was within reach over the course of days;
  • left approximately 22 patients sitting in their wheelchairs near the nursing station with no structured activities at all, resulting in the patients becoming restless, yelling out and trying to stand;
  • provided inadequate staffing to interact with the patients, according to a licensed practical nurse who worked primarily on the day shift;
  • ●provided no full time activities aide, so activities were missed “most of the time”;
  • ●failed to ensure that assessments related to anticoagulant and antidepressant medications were properly documented;
  • ●failed to ensure physician orders and the patient’s care plan were followed;
  • ●left a patient unshaven and with greasy hair for days after he asked for assistance with grooming;
  • ●left a patient without a shower for about a week;
  • ●applied incorrect wound treatments to pressure sores;
  • ●left a patient who utilized a trach without the valve that helps her to speak for days;
  • ●failed to provide a patient with necessary treatment and services to promote healing of an unstageable pressure sore;
  • ●failed to provide each resident received food at the proper temperature, serving food cold;
  • ●failed to provide food under sanitary conditions;
  • ●failed to store kitchenware and food under sanitary conditions;
  • ●allowed cooking pots to be stored with a white residue that flaked off when rubbed;
  • ●kept leftover food for more than 3 days;
  • ●failed to ensure that a patient with decayed teeth received dental services;
  • ●failed to ensure proper storage of urinals and wash basins;
  • ●failed to ensure gloves were used when an insulin injection was given;
  • ●left a container of urine with no lid hanging on a side rail;
  • ●left a container of urine with no cover sitting on the back of a toilet;
  • ●hired a director of nursing who admitted she did not know how urinals are to be stored;
  • ●failed to wash hands or use alcohol gel while providing treatment to a patient’s pressure sore;
  • ●failed to ensure emergency call systems were properly functioning;
  • ●failed to ensure the environment was clean and in good repair.

According to the complaint, the facility was again inspected and investigated by the ISDH on December 18, 2014, resulting in findings of care violations that included, once again, the failure to make sure a patient’s call light was within reach; the failure to provide the necessary treatment and services to attain the highest practicable physical well-being; and the failure to ensure the necessary treatment and services for pressure ulcers were provided.

MAJOR HOSPITAL AND APERION CARE, INC.

According to the Medicare.gov Nursing Home Compare website, the Aperion Care Arbors at Michigan City facility is located at 1101 E. Coolsprings Avenue, in Michigan City, Indiana, and is owned by Major Hospital (located in Shelbyville, IN). According to the complaint, the facility is operated and managed by Aperion Care, Inc., The Arbors Operator, LLC, and others. According to the Medicare.gov website, the facility received an overall rating of “much below average” with a rating of 1 star out of 5:

 

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The family is represented by the Powless Law Firm, which is located in Indianapolis and represents victims of nursing home neglect and abuse state-wide.

The proposed complaint filed in this matter with the Indiana Department of Insurance is a public record.

Major Hospital and Aperion Care, Inc. were also recently named as defendants in another claim brought by the family of a Kokomo man who died after being admitted to the Aperion Care Kokomo nursing home. In that case, according to the complaint, the patient was not given a necessary blood test and was allowed to fall and suffer a “traumatic head injury.”

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Our investigation into these matters is still ongoing. As part of our investigation, we are seeking former employees of the Aperion Care Arbors Michigan City and Aperion Care Kokomo who may have knowledge concerning this facility’s staffing levels, training issues or any other factors that may have contributed to unsafe patient conditions. If you are a former employee or family of a patient of Aperion Care Arbors Michigan City or Aperion Care Kokomo with knowledge concerning any of these matters, please contact us confidentially by calling 877-769-5377.

 

The Powless Law Firm is an Indiana law firm that represents victims and families state-wide in serious cases involving nursing home neglect, medical negligence, personal injury and wrongful death. If you have concerns about nursing home neglect or abuse, please contact us at 877-769-5377. Together we can make a difference.

Other related articles of interest:

Why Bother Suing Bad Nursing Homes?

Complaint Against Indiana Nursing Home Alleges Neglect and Understaffing

The Problem of Pain Medication Theft in Nursing Homes

Wrongful Death Claim Filed Against Columbus Indiana Nursing Home

 

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