Armando Reagan was 30 when he bled to death, rushed from a Southern California nursing home as blood soaked his sheets, pooled on the floor and as he pleaded with staff: “Help! Help! I do not want to die!” according to state public health records.
11 years earlier in a drive-by shooting, Reagan, who was taking blood
thinners, died later that day at a nearby hospital, where the emergency
room documented profuse bleeding from bedsores in his groin.
Aparicio, a relative, assumed that the nursing home – Verdugo Valley
Skilled Nursing & Wellness Centre in suburban Los Angeles – would
receive the maximum punishment from the state: a Type AA citation and
$100,000 fine, a penalty reserved by the California Department of Public
Health for the most egregious deaths of nursing home residents.
was mistaken. Instead, the department issued the facility a milder A
citation and $20,000 fine over Reagan’s death in July 2010, concluding
that nursing home staff did not adequately monitor the young man for
adverse drug reactions.
“To know he was crying out like
that,” said Aparicio, 61, a second cousin of Reagan, who had always
called her “auntie.” “All they got was a slap on the hand: ‘Don’t do it
“They made a mistake and, oops, that’s it?” she asked. “This is a mistake we know about. What about all the ones we don’t?”
over how the state penalizes facilities over suspicious patient deaths
has been simmering for years, with elder-care advocates pushing for
tougher oversight and harsher fines. The nursing home industry,
meanwhile, has maintained that inspectors for the Department of Public
Health have been uneven in their approaches, depending on which district
office is in charge of an investigation. (Click to Continue)
Full Article & Source:
All they got was a slap on the hand.’ Is California low-balling penalties in nursing home death investigations?