Bria of Forest Edge releases COVID-19 statistics showing 131 COVID infections and 1 death. Levin & Perconti, Illinois nursing home lawyers launch investigation into gross negligence in preventing the spread of COVID-19
On May 15, 20202, Bria of Forest Edge: located in Chicago, Illinois, released long term care outbreak data reporting of laboratory confirmed COVID-19 outbreak cases. These statics confirm that 131 infections and 1 death have occurred at the facility during the COVID-19 outbreak.
On April 16, 2020, Chicago’s very own WGN 9 News reported on the COVID-19 outbreak at Bria of Forest Edge Nursing Home, describing a facility that has been ill-equipped to handle the virus outbreak and an overall failure to protect its residents and staff members. At the time of the article, two employees at the facility had died due to COVID-19, however as the article explains the flow of information from management to the workers on the ground has been non-existent. Lakisha Collins, a CNA at the facility explains she found out about the deaths of her coworkers on the local news and heard nothing from her superiors at the facility regarding these deaths.
Furthermore, Bria of Forest Edge failed immensely in providing its staff members with proper protective equipment to combat the virus outbreak. According to the article, frontline workers at the facility are given one mask per week and lack other essential equipment. The lack of equipment to frontline employees along withholding of information to those employees has created a dangerous and uncertain environment for residents and staff at Bria at Forest Edge Nursing Home.
Based on the Illinois Department of Public Health’s Quarterly Reports of Nursing Home Violations, Ambassador Nursing & Rehab Center was found to be in violation of several policies and procedures prescribed by the Illinois Department of Public Health.
In Quarter 4 of 2017 (October – December), a survey conducted on October 25, 2017 found Bria of Forest Edge to have committed a Type B Violation. The violation included sections of the Code: 300.610(a), 300.1210(b)(5), 300.1210(d)(6), and 300.3240(a). Specifically, the facility failed to implement fall interventions and preventions which resulted in a resident suffering serious injuries due to a fall.
In Quarter 2 of 2018 (April – June), a survey conducted on April 4, 2018 found Bria of Forest Edge to have committed another Type B Violation including sections of the Code: 300.1210(b), 300.1210(d)(6), 300.1220(b)(2), and 300.3240(a). Specifically, staff members at the facility failed to properly supervise residents on the smoking patio where an altercation ensued between two residents causing serious injuries to one of them. The record provides the lack of supervision allowed for this altercation to occur and if the facility had followed its prescribed policies such an incident would likely not have occurred.
In Quarter 3 of 2018 (July – September), a survey conducted on July 24, 2018 found Bria of Forest Edge to have committed another Type B Violation including sections of the Code: 300.610(a), 300.1010(h), 300.1210(b), 300.1210(d)(3), 300.1210(d)(6), and 300.3240(a). Additionally, the same survey found a Type C Violation in regards to section of the Code: 300.690(a). These violations included the facility’s failure to provide documentation on assessment and treatment of residents’ wounds, and therefore causing those wounds to not be treated at all. Moreover, the facility failed to follow its smoking policy to ensure that smoking materials were locked in the facility designated area, and unavailable to smokers who were assessed as being of risk and unsafe. The record provides this failure resulted in a resident starting a mattress fire and subsequently needing treatment at a hospital. Lastly, the facility was again found to have failed in implementing and providing fall interventions and preventions causing another resident to suffer injuries from a fall. These similar violations and occurrences found by the Illinois Department of Public Health demonstrate a continued lack of care by the staff at Bria of Forest Edge and have repeatedly caused serious harm to the residents of this facility.
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.
For Bria of Forest Edge, as recently as March 3, 2020, a survey found the facility had failed to properly supervise a resident who subsequently suffered from a fall requiring hospitalization. The injured resident was diagnosed with a serious mental disorder which required staff to monitor and supervise him routinely, however staff failed in this capacity and the resident ended up wandering off on his own and eventually falling.
As for recertification, the survey conducted on October 15, 2017 found the facility failed to accurately document medical information for two residents being reviewed for hospice care. The facility further failed in providing a safe and sanitary environment for residents, staff, and the public. Specifically failing to properly store food items, and adequately dispose of garbage and other waste materials. Lastly, the survey noted the facility’s lack of handrails for residents to use, demonstrating another failure to implement fall interventions and preventions.
The recertification survey for 2018, conducted on August 16, 2018, found the facility failed to obtain physician’s orders and to assess for residents to self-administer medications. Additionally, this survey mentions the aforementioned smoking altercation from Quarter 2 of 2018 and the staff’s failure to properly supervise residents. The survey continues, noting several residents who were not given the proper medication or provided the necessary assessments and treatments for certain injuries. Similar to the violation in the 2017 recertification survey, the facility again failed to properly document medication being given to residents and further failed to follow pharmacy recommendations for one resident. Lastly, the facility again failed to maintain a safe and sanitary environment as it was found to have failed in removing expired medications and removing them from resident’s access.
The 2019 recertification survey conducted on September 18, 2019, demonstrates continued failures by the staff at Bria of Forest Edge. First, the facility failed in its capacity to assist certain residents with activities of daily living including dressing, transferring and eating. Moreover, the facility further failed maintain the integrity and privacy of private medical information by leaving a resident’s information on a computer screen that was visible to individuals in the hallway and dining room area. The record once more provides Bria of Forest Edge’s failure to provide a clean and sanitary environment for residents, namely failing to repair deteriorating equipment within the facility including windows and ceilings.
Numerous other violations regarding the facility’s administration of medication to residents and providing the necessary treatment are present throughout this survey. However, in the context of the current COVID-19 outbreak, the most alarming violation is the facility’s failure to follow standard infection control practices regarding proper hand hygiene during medication administration. Furthermore, failure to follow their policies regarding the use of gloves during intravenous site care, and the failure to follow the policy for disinfection of medical equipment.
Founding partner Steven M. Levin described these outbreaks in many Illinois Nursing Homes: “for many years prior to this outbreak, Bria of Forest Edge 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
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