Care facility staff discover resident soaked in blood, leading to tragic death

Highland Ridge Care Center, which is a part of the Highland Ridge senior living complex located in Williamsburg, has been cited by state inspectors for three regulatory violations that are related to a resident’s death. This incident has raised some concerns about the quality of care provided by the facility. The Iowa County Assessor’s Office has shared a photo of the premises for reference.

State officials have reported that a person living in a Williamsburg care facility passed away due to a nine-hour delay in receiving medical attention for the severe injuries they suffered from a fall. The incident highlights the critical importance of prompt medical care and attention, particularly in situations where a person’s health and well-being are at risk. The delay in providing medical care may have had a significant impact on the individual’s chances of survival, emphasizing the need for proper and timely medical assistance.

According to reports from state inspections, a nurse aide at the Highland Ridge Care Center in Williamsburg discovered a female resident on the floor of her room complaining of pain “all over” at 9:45 p.m. on June 2, 2023. The scene was described as traumatic, with the resident writhing on the floor in blood-soaked pajamas. The nurse aide stated that the memory of the incident would not be easily forgotten.

According to an aide who was on the overnight shift, the woman was put to bed but was found in the fetal position and shaking uncontrollably.

According to the registered nurse who was on duty that night, the accounts provided by others were inconsistent with what she observed. She stated that right after the resident fell, they had complete mobility in all their limbs, and did not mention any discomfort.

The day following the incident, the resident voiced her discomfort at 6:30 a.m. She exhibited pain in her right arm and yelped as a nurse attempted to touch it. Without further ado, she was moved to the emergency room of the nearest hospital. Upon examination, the medical personnel discovered that her right leg had shortened and turned outward, coupled with a head laceration above her right eye that had dried blood. The subsequent X-rays taken showed that her right arm was fractured and displaced, in addition to a fractured leg and hip.

After being transferred to a bigger hospital for advanced medical attention, state inspectors reported that the staff had disclosed that the resident suffered from severe bleeding from her head. Shockingly, instead of calling the physician or family, two staff members allegedly took it upon themselves to shower the resident and tuck her into bed for the night. This concerning incident highlights the importance of proper care and attention given to senior citizens in nursing homes.

According to state records, an individual related to the resident raised concerns with inspectors regarding the treatment their loved one received at Highland Ridge. The complaint stated that the staff had neglected to attend to the resident’s needs, resulting in them experiencing excruciating pain throughout the night due to a fractured hip and shoulder.

The resident passed away on June 12, exactly ten days after the fall had occurred.

According to reports, the Iowa Department of Inspections, Appeals and Licensing has suggested imposing a total of $26,000 in fines against the facility. The first offense pertains to the lack of proper pain management, which resulted in a $9,000 fine. The second offense relates to the failure to assess and address a resident’s changed condition, which resulted in an additional $9,000 fine. The last offense is the failure to guarantee that residents remain free from neglect or abuse, resulting in an $8,000 fine.

At present, the state fines that were suggested are on hold as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reviews the possibility of implementing federal penalties.

Highland Ridge, a care facility with 59 beds, has received the highest overall rating of five stars from CMS for its exceptional quality of care. Federal penalties have not been imposed on the facility in the last three years, as per CMS records. Additionally, state records show that Highland Ridge was cited and fined in 2013, marking the last instance of such action taken against the facility.

As of Friday, the administrator of the home could not be reached for comment by the Iowa Capital Dispatch.

The tragic incident of a care facility resident who was found soaked in blood and later passed away has been reported in an article on Iowa Capital Dispatch.

MBS Staff
MBS Staff
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