Symphony at Midway releases COVID-19 statistics showing 213 COVID infections and 21 deaths. Levin & Perconti, Illinois nursing home lawyers launch investigation into gross negligence in preventing the spread of COVID-19
On June 5, 2020, Symphony at Midway, located in Chicago, IL, released long term care outbreak data reporting of laboratory confirmed COVID-19 outbreak cases. These statics confirm that 213 infections and 21 deaths have occurred at the facility during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Symphony at Midway has posted their own response to how they are combating the COVID-19 pandemic. The post includes information for patients, families and guardians, and employees. The facility has implemented new cleaning and treatment measures and have provided electronic forms of communication to promote their new E-visitation program. All staff members are required to wear personal protective equipment as well. The Symphony Care Network has also appointed an infectious disease control expert to help lead their COVID-19 crisis team.
On April 27, 2020, an article reported by ABC7 News listed the nursing homes whose staff has reported they are planning on striking on May 8, 2020, due to their work conditions. Symphony at Midway is one of the facilities whose staff reported a strike notice. The complaints arise from inadequate personal protective equipment, which staff members claim put not only themselves and residents at risk, but their family members as well. Staff members are also looking to receive a raise in pay in accordance with the danger they are having to face as essential workers. Amid the coronavirus outbreaks at nursing home, staff leaving will have a negative effect on residents. Facilities like Symphony at Midway will be left understaffed, leaving residents to care for themselves. Amid the coronavirus outbreak at nursing homes, staff strikes will only aggravate the issue.
On May 15, 2020, an article posted by WBEZ mentioned the nursing homes in Illinois that have an excessively high number of cases and deaths. Symphony at Midway, at the time of the article, was the fourth highest in Illinois in comparison to other long-term care facilities with 177 cases and 12 deaths. Since this article was posted, there has been an increase in both cases and deaths reported at Symphony at Midway.
In Quarter 1 of 2020 (January-March), a survey conducted on December 10, 2019, found Symphony at Midway to have committed a Type A violation. The violation included sections 300.1210b), 300.1210d)6), 300.2900d)2), 300.3100d)2), and 300.3240a) of the code. A $25,000 fine was assessed for the violation.
Based upon interview and a record review, Symphony at Midway failed to supervise and check in on a resident who previously attempted to exit by a window and failed to secure a window to prevent residents from exiting through. This failure resulted in a resident falling out of a window, suffering numerous, and subsequently dying at a hospital the next day.
In Quarter 2 of 2019 (April-June), a survey conducted on February 20, 2019, found Symphony at Midway to have committed a Type A violation. The violation included sections 300.610a), 300.1210b), 300.1210d)6) and 300.3240a) of the code. A $25,000 fine was assessed for the violation.
Based upon interview and a record review, Symphony at Midway failed to follow their falls policy and failed to implement fall preventions for at risk residents. This lapse resulted in a resident falling out of bed and sustaining a laceration to the eye, brain bleeds, and a hip fracture.
The Illinois Department of Public Health conducts annual recertification surveys in which nursing homes are subjected to a review of their regulatory histories, as well as any violations occurring at the facility. When a facility is found to be in violation, the facility is required to submit a plan of correction noting both how it will remedy the violation and how it will prevent similar violations in the future.
The 2019 recertification survey conducted on February 1, 2019, found Symphony at Midway to have committed two violations. These violations stemmed from failures to follow policies in regard to the self-administration of medications and treatments by a resident. Symphony at Midway issues a plan of correction for the violation, stating they have educated staff on the process determining the residents’ capabilities to self-administer medications.
In the 2018 recertification survey conducted on April 26, 2018, Symphony at Midway was cited for multiple violations. These violations included; failure to involve residents in the decision making process of changing medications, failure to report an allegation of visitor to resident verbal abuse, failure to develop care plan interventions to minimize fall risk for certain residents, failure to follow physician’s orders related to medications, failure to supervise a resident assessed as an unsafe smoker, failure to ensure nursing staff practice hand hygiene during medication administration, and failure to maintain resident’s equipment in a safe operating condition.
In the 2017 recertification survey conducted on March 31, 2017, Symphony at Midway was cited for multiple violations. These violations included failure to convey personal funds of a resident upon discharge, eviction, or death, failure to report and investigate an allegation of abuse for a resident, failure to complete a 14-day comprehensive assessment after admission for a resident, and failure to ensure cookware and cooking equipment is properly sanitized according to facility policies.
The sanitation violation was noted as having the potential to affect all 221 residents within the building. Symphony at Midway has issued a corrective plan of action in response to these violations. Specially, failure to ensure cookware and cooking equipment is properly sanitized, the facility has conducted an in service to make sure all dietary sanitation policies are being followed.
While it is promising to see that the only issues related to sanitation and infection came about during a 2017 investigation, it is still alarming the amount of COVID-19 cases and deaths that Symphony at Midway is experiencing. The facility will have to look into other underlying potential issues for what is causing such a high outbreak at their nursing home. Until Symphony at Midway can pinpoint a potential cause, they will have to continue following state guidelines and hope the COVID-19 cases falter.
Founding partner Steven M. Levin described these outbreaks in many Illinois Nursing Homes: “for many years prior to this outbreak, Symphony at Midway 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.”
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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.
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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.