Understaffed nursing home leaves patients without care, medication

Chelsea, Mass.-based nursing home AdviniaCare Eastpointe is under investigation after emergency responders found residents wandering the halls and waiting for medication, Boston 25 News reported Sept. 13.

Saturday afternoon, a woman visiting the facility called emergency services to complain that a diabetic resident had not received her insulin. First responders treated several residents and transported one resident to the hospital who complained of back pains.

"Five to seven patients lined up at a medication cart, waiting for their medications [on the third floor. Firefighters] were initially unable to find any LPN's or RN's on that side of the nursing home with multiple patients roaming the hall," a fire lieutenant described in a one-page report.

Responders were told the nurse who had been working the floor left after completing a double shift and had no replacement. Another nurse on the floor said he was caring for his own patients, "and if he had time, he would go to the other side and give out their medication," the report said.

The Massachusets Department of Public Health sent a rapid response medical team when it learned of the staff shortage.

AdviniaCare Eastpointe is operated by Pointe Group Care. The company's COO Chris Hannon released this statement to 25 Investigates:

"AdviniaCare Eastpointe had a staffing challenge on a shift this past Saturday, which was addressed very promptly on that same day through the deployment of additional personnel from our company and supplemental staff through the Mass. Department of Public Health's rapid response team. We are grateful for the team's support, and as always, the support of our local health and safety officials. Staffing has now stabilized in the building. Despite the situation on Saturday, all residents received proper and necessary care. At no time was there a need to consider transferring residents."

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