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 Press Release

Consumer Info


PRESS RELEASE                                   

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Contact Carole Herman (916)481-8558 
Foundation Aiding The Elderly
Sacramento, CA


SACRAMENTO, CA….The California Department of Health Services has issued its most serious citation, a Class AA, with an assessed penalty of $100,000, against the Applewood Care Center in Sacramento, CA as a result of a complaint filed by the Foundation Aiding The Elderly (FATE) on 9/13/05.  FATE filed the complaint on behalf of a client who died as a result of a fall at the facility while strapped in her wheelchair.   Although rarely are Class AA Citations issued, the Department determined that the violations presented an imminent danger or substantial probability that death or serious harm would occur and was a direct proximate cause of the death of the patient. 

According to the Sacramento County Coroner’s Office, the patient sustained a blunt force head injury, left facial abrasions, left temporal scalp laceration, a nondisplaced linear fracture, left temporal skull, and a right subdural hematoma.  The patient also had injuries to her torso, abrasions on the left shoulder, a fractured left clavicle and non-displaced fractures of two ribs with abrasions on both knees.  She also suffered from large chronic stage 4 decubital ulcer on her right hip.

Although the Department of Health Services took nine months to adjudicate the allegations, Carole Herman, of the Foundation Aiding the Elderly,  was pleased with the issuance of the Citation as the abuse of this patient clearly warranted the Class AA citation with the maximum fine.    Herman stated “it is rare for the Department to issue a Class AA citation.  We as a society can not allow our parents to be subjected to the continual poor care and abuse that continues to occur in nursing home, not only in California, but throughout the country.   The regulatory agencies empowered to protect us must do their job in order to prevent these types of abuses and in this case, although not timely, they did.”      

In the past, the Department has stated that insufficient staffing and reduced budgets have not allowed the Department  to investigate suspected abuses in nursing homes on a timely basis.  However,  Herman contends that complaints should take precedence over annual licensing renewal inspections because complaints of poor care and abuse puts the State on immediate notice that there are problems in the facilities and patients are at risk.

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