Bria of Geneva releases COVID-19 statistics showing 132 COVID infections and 26 deaths. Levin & Perconti, Illinois nursing home lawyers launch investigation into gross negligence in preventing the spread of COVID-19
On June 3, 2020, Bria of Geneva, located in Geneva, Illinois, released long term care outbreak data reporting of laboratory confirmed COVID-19 outbreak cases. These statics confirm that 132 infections and 26 deaths have occurred at the facility during the COVID-19 outbreak.
On May 19, 2020, the Chicago Tribune provided an article regarding the second lawsuit filed against Bria of Geneva, claiming the facility failed to implement basic precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 after a number of its residents died from COVID-19 complications. This lawsuit has been filed by the family of Lucille James, a resident at the facility who died of the virus on May 1. One family member of Lucille James’ explains the family did not find out their loved one had COVID-19 until after her death. Specifically, the lawsuit asserts Bria of Geneva did not prevent the spread of the virus by failing to comply with the preventative directions of the Illinois Department of Public Health. Moreover, the lawsuit accuses the facility of failing to provide personal protective equipment and sufficient testing kits for residents and staff; and further the facility failed to implement continuous screening checks on residents and staff such as temperature checks and using a checklist to identify symptomatic residents.
The article continues by explaining that despite exhibiting symptoms, Lucille James was not isolated nor tested right away for COVID-19 as was requested by her family following a chest x-ray that showed pneumonia. Additionally, while the facility’s first confirmed COVID-19 case occurred on April 17, according to the lawsuit, the facility did not receive testing kits until April 23 or 24. The first lawsuit filed against Bria of Geneva regarding the death of a resident on April 16, contains many of the same allegations and failures on the part of the facility in preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Based on the Illinois Department of Public Health’s Quarterly Reports of Nursing Home Violations, Bria of Geneva was found to be in violation of policies and procedures prescribed by the Illinois Department of Public Health.
In Quarter 4 of 2018 (October – December) a survey conducted on September 27, 2018, Bria of Geneva was found to have committed a Type B Violation, consisting of the following sections of the Code: 300.610(a), 300.1210(a), 300.1210(b)(4), 300.1210(c), 300.1210(d)(6), and 300.3240(a). Specifically, Bria of Geneva was found to have failed to ensure safety measures were in place to reduce the risk of resident injury and failed to revise the pertinent care plan interventions. As a result of these failures, a resident at the facility was found lying on the floor next to her bed with sheets around her and was later found to have a laceration on her forehead.
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 Geneva, a complaint investigation survey conducted on August 14, 2019, found the facility failed to ensure staff perform hand hygiene after glove changes, and during and after incontinence care. Additionally, the facility was found to have failed to ensure staff members were properly washing their hands after assisting residents with toileting. Specifically, staff was found to have not conducted hand hygiene while administering incontinence care, removing gloves before incontinence was completed, and further did not bring residents to the sink to do hand hygiene after toilet use as is required under the facilities hand hygiene policy.
As for recertification, the 2016 recertification survey conducted on July 21, 2016, found Bria of Geneva failed to clean a resident’s perineal area after an incontinence episode in a manner that would prevent the potential development of infection and further maintain hygiene. This finding is in reference to an instance in which a resident was not given the proper treatment and was subsequently found to be covered in urine and stool. Moreover, the facility was found to committed numerous violations of its policy to provide residents with an environment that is free of accident hazards and providing assistance devices to prevent accidents.
The failures include: failure to analyze circumstances of falls; failure to develop specific interventions to prevent further falls for a resident identified as being a high risk for falls; failure to supervise a resident during meals; failure to lock the shower room which contained a wet floor; and a failure to secure disposable razors in the facility’s dementia unit. Lastly, the 2016 recertification survey found Bria of Geneva failed to serve physician ordered therapeutic diets as planned, and further failed to wash dishes in a clean and sanitary manner.
The 2017 recertification survey conducted on May 19, 2017, found Bria of Geneva failed to consistently implement interventions based on the plan of care for certain residents, and further failed to provide timely and complete incontinent care to a resident who had a history of urinary tract infections. Specifically, after having gone through a complete visual observation, this resident was found to have a very strong odor of urine, and feces in the perineal area. Furthermore, the facility to ensure exhaust fans in residents’ bathrooms were working properly, and failed to assure 6 resident bedrooms were at or above grade floor level as required under those residents’ care plans.
The 2018 recertification survey conducted on June 14, 2018, found Bria of Geneva failed to assist residents identified as needing assistance for eating, grooming, and personal hygiene. Specifically, the record provides one resident to have overgrown facial hair and finger nails that were uneven, chipped, and dirty with brown and black substances. Moreover, similar to the 2017 recertification survey, the 2018 recertification survey found the facility failed to provide incontinence care in a manner that would prevent potential development of infections and to maintain adequate hygiene. Lastly, and most importantly in the context of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the facility failed to ensure family members who were visiting a loved-one who was currently suffering from an infection were not wearing the requisite personal protective equipment. The record provides the family members were never informed of the need to wear the protective equipment including gloves which are mandated for such situations.
The recertification survey conducted on July 11, 2019, found Bria of Geneva failed to provide and maintain a clean, comfortable, and homelike environment for residents, including one instance in which a resident was found to have food particles and debris all over the area surrounding their bed. Additionally, the same resident was found to have fecal material on the toilet seat in her bathroom which also lacked a garbage can and paper towels. Furthermore, the survey found the facility failed to ensure medications were being administered by qualified staff members.
Just as the case was in both the 2017 and 2018 recertification surveys, the 2019 recertification found the facility failed to provide incontinence care in a timely manner for a resident who required extensive assistance. These repeated failures of the same nature demonstrate the facility’s inability to implement and effective plan of correction for the incontinence care issues, and have further failed to abide by those plans of corrections submitted to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Similarly, the 2019 recertification found another previous failure to be present, as Bria of Geneva was again found to have failed to provide perineal care in a manner that would sufficiently prevent infections. Lastly, and once again similarly to previous recertification surveys, Bria of Geneva staff members failed to wash their hands and change gloves to prevent the spread of infections. This specific failure is extremely relevant to the current COVID-19 pandemic as the failure to maintain adequate hygiene and further prevent the transmission of infections is exactly the kind of issues that have exacerbated the spread of the deadly virus, as evidenced by the aforementioned lawsuits detailed by the Chicago Tribune article.
Founding partner Steven M. Levin described these outbreaks in many Illinois Nursing Homes: “for many years prior to this outbreak, Bria of Geneva 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 Nursing Home Negligence Attorneys
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 Chicago nursing home negligence consultation.