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State: Marion nursing home resident tried to suffocate roommate with a pillow
Inspection report notes previous incidents with the resident
By Clark Kauffman - Iowa Capital Dispatch
May. 16, 2023 12:28 pm
A Marion nursing home is facing potential sanctions after a resident of the home tried to suffocate her roommate with a pillow, according to state inspectors.
The Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals has cited Winslow House Care Center for failure to keep residents safe and failure to prevent resident abuse.
“Resident #2 attempted to suffocate Resident #1 with a blanket and pillow while she lay in bed sleeping,” state inspectors wrote in their report about the April incident. “A serious adverse outcome was likely to occur if the staff had not intervened and stopped Resident #2 from applying pressure with the pillow over Resident #1’s face.”
According to the inspectors’ reports, an aide was working near the dining room of the facility shortly before noon April 10 when she heard a woman inside one of the resident rooms “attempting to call out in a muffled voice through a pillow and blanket.” The aide entered the room and found a female resident standing over her roommate, who was lying in bed, while “pushing a pillow and blanket down onto her face.”
When workers approached the bed to separate the two, the aggressor was combative, argumentative and “kept yelling she hadn’t done anything wrong,” the inspectors reported.
A review of the care facility’s records indicated the resident who had attacked her roommate had dementia and that there had been a series of altercations in the months leading up to the April 10 incident.
The previous October, the resident had entered another woman’s room, argued with her, and then pushed the woman. Days later, the resident walked to the doorway of another female resident and then hit the woman on both sides of her face. In January, it was reported that the resident had shoved someone in the dining room.
One resident at Winslow House told inspectors she was afraid of the woman, but the staff told everyone there was nothing that could be done. The director of nursing allegedly told inspectors that “at no time before the last incident did the facility provide any increased supervision” of the combative resident.
The director of nursing allegedly reported that after the most recent incident, the home did provide one-on-one supervision of the woman for 24 hours, “but corporate instructed us we did not need to continue with it.”
State and federal records indicate the home is owned by the Capstone Group Inc. The corporation’s officers and directors are Michael Michaud and John Whitaker of Marietta, Ga., and Gregory Slessor of Cedar Rapids. The home is managed by Healthcare of Iowa Inc., whose president is Dave Chensvold of Cedar Rapids.
The state inspection department has imposed, but suspended, two fines of $6,500 against Winslow House. The suspension of the state fines enables the federal Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services to determine whether federal fines are warranted.
In the past three years, the federal center has fined the home a total of $17,933, with the most recent fine imposed in November 2021.
This article first appeared in the Iowa Capital Dispatch.