Bigfork Valley Communities Complaint Findings for Neglect – Oxygen Burns
In a report concluded on February 4, 2015, the Minnesota Department of Health cites Bigfork Valley Communities for neglect of health care.
Based on a preponderance of evidence, neglect occurred when the facility staff failed to provide adequate supervision to a resident who was smoking. The staff did not remove the resident’s oxygen prior to the resident lighting a cigarette. The oxygen/tubing ignited, resulting in first degree burns to the check and nose of the resident.
Substantiated Complaint of Neglect of Health Care at Bigfork Valley Communities of Burn Injury
Based on a preponderance of the evidence, neglect occurred when the facility staff failed to provide adequate supervision to a resident who was smoking. The staff did not remove the resident’s oxygen prior to the resident lighting a cigarette. The oxygen/tubing ignited, resulting in first degree burns to the cheek and nose of the resident.
The evening after the admission the resident was outside with a Nursing Assistant (NA), when the NA told the nurse that the resident required first aide due to injuries sustained when his/her oxygen ignited while the resident was smoking. Documentation indicated the resident smelled of burned hair and skin, and the resident had blackened skin on and under his nose, and bilaterally on both cheeks.
The resident’s admission occurred a day before the fire. The resident had Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder and the resident used continuous oxygen per nasal cannula. The resident was a current smoker who smoked 2-5 times per day and required supervision during smoking. There was nothing further on the assessment to address the type of supervision the resident needed or what to do with the oxygen while the resident smoked.
For more information from the Minnesota Department of Health, Office of Health Facility Complaints concerning nursing homes, assisted living and other elder care providers view resolved complaints at the MDH website.
If you have concerns about burn injuries or any other form of elder abuse or neglect contact Elder Abuse and Neglect Attorney Kenneth LaBore at 1-888-452-6589 or by email at KLaBore@MNnursinghomeneglect.com.