Friday, March 8, 2019

N.J. Nursing Home Fined $600,000 After 11 Children With Disabilities Died During a Viral Outbreak

On Monday, Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Haskell, New Jersey, was fined $600,000 after 11 children died and 36 became sick during a viral outbreak in fall 2018 after federal inspectors found widespread substandard care at the facility. Wanaque Center is home to more than 50 children with disabilities and medical conditions that require ventilators, in addition to 150 other vulnerable children and seniors. 

In September 2018, the facility had an adenovirus outbreak, a virus typically marked by cold and flu-like symptoms. In this case, according to, the adenovirus strain was particularly difficult to treat and proved deadly to Wanaque Center’s residents who were not given proper care during the outbreak, according to a federal report. The first child died on Oct. 9, 2018. An additional 10 children died from the adenovirus outbreak by mid-November. 

According to, federal investigators from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which oversees nursing facilities, found “lapses in hand-washing and infection control, substandard care, a lack of involvement by the medical director, and poor oversight by the facility’s administration.” They also noted that the virus proved deadly due to a “failure to provide timely interventions and care.” This led to the $600,000 fine, which advocates say is “meaningful” in the state. 

Speaking with anonymously, Wanaque Center nurses working at the center were told to delay sending sick children to the hospital for days after they spiked high fevers in excess of 103 or 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Children were treated with antibiotics that often didn’t work while the facility turned up the air conditioning and administered Tylenol and Motrin to try and bring their fevers down instead of immediately sending them to the hospital. 

Those who were sent to the hospital went after a week of high fevers. Several died within hours of their arrival at the hospital. Others, according to, came back from the hospital with a new tracheostomy to improve breathing as a result of the delay in getting proper treatment. These claims were also reported in the federal investigator’s report, though Andrew P. Aronson, an attorney for Wanaque, told investigators the child was expected to get a tracheostomy before contracting the virus.

Full Article & Source:
N.J. Nursing Home Fined $600,000 After 11 Children With Disabilities Died During a Viral Outbreak

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