August 16th, 2010
$20,000 Fine Recommendation for Nursing Home Abuse and Death of Resident
North Carolina state regulators have recommended $20,000 in fines be issued to Britthaven, a Chapel Hill nursing home, after a former nurse is charged with 2nd degree murder and patient abuse.
The former nurse is charged with the murder of 84-year-old resident Rachel Holliday, as well injuring six other residents through the use of morphine. None of the residents had been prescribed morphine.
A medical examination revealed that Holliday’s death was due to pneumonia from asphyxiation and that the high levels of morphine in her body likely contributed to her death.
The fines against the nursing home have been proposed by the state Department of Health and Human Services to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
An investigation by the department’s Nursing Home Licensure and Certification Section found “the most serious deficiency to be one that comprises a pattern that constitutes immediate jeopardy to resident health or safety” and will require significant corrections. Investigations took place in February, June, and July according to Britthaven’s administrator.
Britthaven is also the target of civil malpractice suits because of nursing home abuse involving serious injuries to two other patients.