Another horrific death at St. Sophia Health & Rehabilitation Center in Florissant, Missouri. Last year my client’s mother died after she was left in a bathtub for over 8 hours when employees at St. Sophia forgot about her. Today the St. Louis Post-Dispatch brings news that another resident bled to death after pulling out a dialysis catheter. This latest death was enough for investigators and they have lowered the boom on St. Sophia. How? By cutting off Medicare and Medicaid payments to the facility beginning November 2, 2017. This news was presented to St. Sophia in a letter to the facility administrator from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services dated October 13, 2017.
Resident Bled to Death
The St. Louis Post Dispatch article reports that the resident had a catheter for vein access in an arm, a dialysis catheter in the groin and a feeding tube. Apparently the resident had been pulling on the tubing and “requires constant watching” according to charting in September. During the early morning hours of September 9, 2017, the resident pulled out a catheter which resulted in significant bleeding. Original charting identified that the resident was found at 6:50a.m. with significant blood on the floor and bed and that by 6:55a.m. the resident was unresponsive. During the investigation a nurse aid told investigators that she had told two nurses “all night long, about a thousand times, what the resident was doing” but was instructed not to stay with the resident.
One of the more outrageous revelations referenced in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch article is that facility employees changed the records two days later in an effort to cover up what really happened to the resident who bled to death. Investigators found that electronic medical records were changed two days later to show that all the tubing was intact. This is fraud! Unfortunately, charting fraud is not as unusual as people might think.
The Terry Law Firm has handled numerous St. Louis nursing home abuse and neglect cases where there has been fraudulent charting. In some cases, employees during their depositions even referenced “charting parties” where staff members would get together write down that certain care was provided when, in fact, it was not. We have found charting that states the resident ate 100% of their meals for three days after they died. In other instances, employees who no longer worked at the facility supposedly charted on resident care. Sadly, charting fraud is rampant in the nursing home industry as a means to cover up what is often horrific nursing home care.
One of the more common causes of nursing home abuse and neglect in Missouri is the lack of staffing at facilities. Far too often nursing home owners choose to increase their profit by reducing staffing levels. The result is that nursing home owners do make more money, but nursing homes are left unable to meet the residents needs because they just don’t have enough employees. If you have ever had a loved one in a nursing home and had to wait 30 minutes or more before an employee answers the call light, you have likely experienced a nursing home that does not have enough employees.
Experienced St. Louis Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyer
St. Sophia is located at 936 Charbonier Road in Florissant and has been designated by Medicare as a below average nursing home. If you are concerned about the care your loved one is receiving at St. Sophia or any Missouri nursing home, you may want to talk with a lawyer who has experience in handling legal cases against the nursing home industry. Feel free to call the Terry Law Firm at (314) 878-9797. We have been handling nursing home abuse and neglect cases in Missouri since 2001.