Saturday, July 11, 2015

3 workers at Far Rockaway nursing home charged with abuse

Authorities say the abuse happened at the Peninsula Nursing and Rehabilitation Center on Beach Channel Drive in Far Rockaway.

Two nurses and a nurse's aide were reportedly caught on camera by the facility's surveillance system either abusing the patients or doing nothing to help.

In one instance, a nurse is seen dragging a 51-year-old debilitated man on the floor by his arm. The patient is bleeding and in obvious pain, and other nurses are seen standing around and watching.

"My office will not tolerate nurses who callously fail to treat or endanger injured patients under their care," Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said. "Caregivers must know that we will vigorously prosecute behavior that endangers our most vulnerable citizens. New Yorkers in nursing facilities deserve quality care and their loved ones deserve to know their caregivers act like the professionals they are."

In another video, the male patient is shown crawling on the floor, obviously bleeding from the neck or arm. Other nurses are seen standing by, doing nothing.

Management at Peninsula turned the video over to law enforcement, and all three defendants were either terminated or resigned.

The three health care workers surrendered to authorities on Wednesday morning.

The suspects are nurses Funmiloloa Taiwo, 34, and Esohe Agbonkpolor, 39, and 36-year-old aide Emmanuael Efot.

All three are charged with endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person and willful violation of health laws.

They are all state registered health workers.

According to the state health department, there have been 112 complaints filed against the nursing home since 2011, which is double the statewide average. Inspections turned up 79 deficiencies, also double the statewide average. And in 2005, the home was fined $2,000 for an unspecified quality of care violation.

The victim was not identified and his family could not be reached for comment.

Here are more details of the alleged incident, attributable to the Attorney General's Office. All of these details are allegations: On October 23, 2014, Taiwo and Agbonkpolor were both working as nurses at Peninsula Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, and Ufot was working as a certified nurse aide. That evening, the 51-year-old resident, who suffered from multiple debilitating conditions including altered mental status, fell in front of Agbonkpolor while in a hallway at Peninsula. After the resident was left lying on his back on the floor for 12 minutes, Ufot grabbed the injured resident by the arm and dragged him down the hallway into his room.

Around 25 minutes later, the resident, wearing only a backless gown that was pulled up over his unclad waste, emerged from his room, crawling along the floor on his back, bleeding profusely from a wound to the back of his head and another serious wound on his jaw. For the following 20 minutes, Taiwo and Agbonkpolor, working just a few feet away, largely ignored the resident and never appropriately treated the resident's wounds, including never attempting to stop the bleeding from his head and neck wounds.

Instead, Ufot, in another attempt to get the resident back into his room, allegedly grabbed the resident by his hospital gown that was by then twisted around his neck and dragged him along the floor and dropped him abruptly in front of his room.

Elliot Norman, the Administrator at Peninsula Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Cardiff Bay Center LLC released a statement saying,

"Peninsula Nursing and Rehabilitation Center has a zero tolerance toward any type of misconduct, abusive or negligent behavior by staff toward patients. When the state appointed Cardiff receivers of the facility in February 2013, which had been in bankruptcy and had been devastated in Superstorm Sandy, one of our first actions was to invest in a state-of-the-art video surveillance system covering every inch of the building to ensure patient safety and security. As part of our established protocol, we review these tapes on a daily basis, and it was through this review process that we discovered the alleged inappropriate activity by three former employees. We immediately provided the surveillance footage to the New York State Attorney General's office and terminated the employees. We will continue to fully cooperate with the Attorney General with his ongoing investigation. Here at Peninsula, we will also continue to maintain absolute vigilance including the extensive use of our video surveillance system to ensure patient safety and the high standard of care we demand our employees deliver to our residents."

Full Article & Source:
3 workers at Far Rockaway nursing home charged with abuse

1 comment:

Ruth said...

Cameras in nursing homes are wonderful deterrants.