Veteranclaims’s Blog

January 25, 2010

Health Inspection of Pittsburgh Veterans Homes Raises Alarms

This is more than an alarm, it appears to be disaster.

Full Article at: Health alarm raised about two state-operated veterans homes

By Walter F. Roche Jr.
PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Monday, January 25, 2010

After Pennsylvania health inspectors visited the 514-bed Hollidaysburg Veterans Home in February, they were clearly alarmed.

Inspectors saw patients screaming, biting and kicking as four attendants held them down for bathing or treatment. Often, the inspectors found, patients received improper doses of powerful psychotropic drugs to avert bedlam. And when a staff member reported concerns about physical abuse of a resident, inspectors determined no one investigated.

“The administrator and director of nursing were not fulfilling their essential job duties to ensure the safety and proper health care services for residents,” the inspectors concluded in a 37-page report.

Experts the Tribune-Review interviewed say the use of drugs is not the first-line treatment for dementia patients with behavioral problems. What’s more, state law mandates that hospital administrators investigate reports of suspected abuse.

Both the Hollidaysburg home and Gino J. Merli Veterans Center in Scranton show a series of serious deficiencies. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services rated the facilities below average in meeting inspection requirements, giving them the lowest possible ranking: one star out of five.”

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