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Tucson, Arizona

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Chrissie Cole
Chrissie Cole
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Tucson Nursing Home Fined for Abuse

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In a nursing home abuse case, the home was fined for failure to provide satisfactory care of a mentally ill patient and has been fined $1500.

This was the second penalty that has been paid since October 31st. The nursing home paid $3500 after a March 2006 complaint investigation documented that a male nurse and two other staff employees were emotionally, physically and verbally abusive to seven residents of the home.

Investigations showed one of the residents was kicked, another was restrained with a choke hold, another had his arm twisted behind his back, and several of the residents said staff members yelled at them.

In October and November, the state health department received three complaints regarding a female patient and how she was being treated. The mentally ill patient suffers from several disorders and was behaving badly according to her chart.

Suffering from schizophrenia and other medical conditions, the patient fell nine times within seven months before anyone at the nursing home acted to prevent more falls.

The woman had not received four doses of medication prescribed to her for diabetes and missed two pill doses for heart disease and high blood pressure.

From the beginning of October through the middle of the month, the woman was not given over twenty doses of Phenergan, a drug used in patients with schizophrenia to relieve anxiety. Patient care reports dated end of October and beginning of November did not mention the missed medication, or any attempt to deal with the woman’s extreme behavior.

The purpose of a fine is “to create enough incentive to stay in compliance (with state licensing rules) but to not be so detrimental to the facility as to pull too many resources away from patient care”, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

One of the employees was fired and the abuse had halted during the health department’s investigation.