The aides and nurses at the Braemoor Health Center lacked the fundamental knowledge necessary to save the life of a dementia patient suffering a heart attack in their care. The facility also neglected to inform state officials of the death, initially saying it was because the man had no family. Later, it was revealed administrators feared “bad press,” as their parent company was already under scrutiny for two other deaths in Wilmington.
State health officials released the 70-page report on their investigation more than a month after barring the facility from accepting new patients, fining it $200,000 and freezing its payments from Medicare – the bread-and-butter of any nursing home.
The report offers a scary glimpse into the day-to-day operations at Braemoor, owned by Synergy Health Centers in New Jersey. The report followed two surprise inspections earlier this summer following a tip-off regarding the two deaths, in March and in April. Those inspections revealed a host of problems. For starters, the staff in charge of caring for these elderly, frail patients had little-to-no staff training in basic life support care. Meanwhile, the machines staffers relied upon to provide emergency oxygen to patients suffering medical emergencies – those were empty. The emergency medical devices used to restore a regular heart rhythm to someone experience an active heart attack – those devices were defective. The alarms in place at each window and exit of the building to prevent dementia patients from wandering off-site – many of those were missing or not working. Continue reading