Alden Princeton Rehab & Health releases COVID-19 statistics showing 48 COVID infections and 10 deaths. Levin & Perconti, Illinois nursing home lawyers launch investigation into gross negligence in preventing the spread of COVID-19
On June 11, 2020, Alden Princeton Rehab & Health, located in Chicago, Illinois, released long term care outbreak data reporting of laboratory confirmed COVID-19 outbreak cases. These statics confirm that 48 infections and 10 deaths have occurred at the facility during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Illinois Department of Public Health conducts yearly recertification procedures in which nursing homes are subjected to a review of their regulatory history and any violations occurring at the home. Furthermore, during the recertification process, when a nursing home has been found to have committed a regulatory violation, the facility is subsequently required to submit a plan of correction for how it will remedy the violation or prevent similar violations from occurring in the future.
The 2016 recertification survey conducted on April 7, 2016, found Alden Princeton failed in its capacity to provide residents assistance with their specific activities with daily living (ADL). Specifically, one resident who required assistance with eating, grooming, and personal hygiene, was observed to have long overgrown facial hair, along with overgrown fingernails that were covered with black particles. Moreover, the facility was found to have failed to ensure that a closet containing hazardous materials were secured in the basement and thus being accessible to residents and presenting a major safety risk for those residents. In addition, the facility failed to ensure that the dishwashing machine was properly sanitized which the survey explains had the potential to cause food borne illness in all 159 residents in the facility.
However, that was not the only sanitary-related failure present, the 2016 recertification survey further found the facility failed to have a method to ensure that soiled laundry was processed in a sanitary manner. Similarly, the facility was documented to have failed to ensure that housekeeping and maintenance services were maintained to promote a safe, clean, functional, and sanitary environment. This failure was noted to have the potential to affect all residents in the facility. In the scope of the current COVID-19 pandemic, failures related to providing and maintaining a safe and sanitary environment are especially alarming as these types of failures will accelerate rather than prevent the transmission of the deadly virus.
The 2017 recertification survey conducted on May 11, 2017, found Alden Princeton to have failed to maintain adequate privacy and dignity for two residents, both of whom had care plans requiring assistance with incontinence care and thus further requiring privacy and dignity during such care. Similar to the finding in the 2016 recertification survey, the 2017 recertification survey found the facility failed to ensure food sanitation interventions were implemented in order to prevent the spread of food-borne illness. Again, this failure was noted by the recertification survey to have the potential to affect all 151 residents receiving oral diets in the facility.
The survey documented kitchen appliances containing dried food particles and standing water, as well as staff members touching garbage and the subsequently handling food before washing their hands. As previously mentioned, failures in terms of providing a clean and safe environment are extremely unsettling with the COVID-19 pandemic in mind. Moreover, the fact that this failure was repeated from a previous recertification survey, demonstrates the facility’s inability or unwillingness to implement and follow its plan of correction as the same failure has now occurred in consecutive recertification surveys.
The 2018 recertification survey conducted on March 15, 2018, found Alden Princeton failed to develop a care plan regarding the assessment and maintenance of portacatheters, and further failed to follow professional standards by allowing a licensed practical nurse instead of a registered nurse to flush a resident’s portacatheter and sign off on the medication administration record. Another failure of this nature was observed as the facility failed to follow their policy by not effectively assessing, monitoring, and preventing infection of an implanted venous port (portacatheter). Just as the 2016 recertification survey documented, the 2018 recertification survey found the facility failed to ensure residents’ fingernails were sufficiently cleaned and trimmed. The care plans for these residents included assistance with activities of daily living related to personal hygiene that was clearly not performed as evidenced by the residents’ overgrown fingernails.
Once more, Alden Princeton was found to have failed in maintaining a sanitary kitchen environment as the 2018 recertification survey found: the facility failed to store, label, date, and refrigerate foods; staff failed to wear the required hairnets when inside the kitchen; and failed to discard spices that had expired. These failures were again noted to have the potential to affect 166 residents receiving oral diets residing within the facility. That is now three consecutive recertification surveys in which the facility had been documented as failing in its capacity to provide residents with a safe and sanitary kitchen environment, establishing the facility’s inability to implement and follow its plan of correction, and raises serious questions as to whether it can effectively handle the outbreak of a deadly virus.
Founding partner Steven M. Levin described these outbreaks in many Illinois Nursing Homes: “for many years prior to this outbreak, Alden Princeton Rehab & Health operated with insufficient staff and with a lack of adherence to recognized infection control protocols. It is not surprising that they were ill equipped to handle this outbreak.”
Levin & Perconti: Chicago Attorneys at Law
As experienced advocates for long-term care residents and their families, our firm is ready to help ensure that your loved ones stay safe and healthy during this unprecedented time. Please use our resources to help you stay connected and know that if you find yourself concerned about a resident’s well-being, you can call us at 312-332-2872 or toll-free at 877-374-1417 to request our help during a free consultation.
Share Your COVID-19 Nursing Home Story and Help Others
As COVID-19 continues to spread, it has also magnified systemic breakdowns within Illinois’ long-term care facilities, nursing homes, or assisted living centers. After this latest release of reported data by IDPH, more than half of the COVID-19-related fatalities in Illinois have now occurred at these facilities.