Local

Visalia nursing home leaves patient on toilet to fall, resulting in death, state says

The California Department of Public Health fined Redwood Springs Healthcare Center $100,000 for the death of an 81-year-old female patient who the state says was left unattended on a commode chair, fell and hit her head. The woman died six days after the fall.
The California Department of Public Health fined Redwood Springs Healthcare Center $100,000 for the death of an 81-year-old female patient who the state says was left unattended on a commode chair, fell and hit her head. The woman died six days after the fall. Google Earth

The California Department of Public Health has fined Redwood Springs Healthcare Center, a skilled nursing home in Visalia, $100,000 for a patient death.

The 176-bed nursing home on East Houston Avenue received the most severe penalty possible under state law from the California Department of Public Health.

The state said staff at Redwood Springs Healthcare Center left an 81-year-old woman unattended on a commode chair on Aug. 29, 2017, which resulted in her falling and hitting her head on the floor, causing bleeding inside her skull. She died six days after the fall.

The woman had been admitted to the nursing home on March 1, 2017, and had been diagnosed with a heart problem, muscle weakness, difficulty walking and difficulty swallowing. A previous stroke had caused weakness to her left side, and she had moderate mental impairment, the state said.

The $100,000 fine is the largest the state imposes on nursing homes for poor care of patients. State citations that require a civil monetary penalty are categorized as Class B, A or AA. The associated fines range from $100 to $2,000 for Class B, $2,000 to $20,000 for Class A and $25,000 to $100,000 for Class AA. The citation class and amount of the fine depend upon the significance and severity of the violation.

Seth Braithwaite, administrator at Redwood Springs Health Care , said he could not comment on the state fine or the woman’s death because of ongoing litigation and to protect patient and employee confidentiality.

Barbara Anderson: 559-441-6310, @beehealthwriter
  Comments