ST. CLOUD — A St. Cloud nursing home resident got a second-degree burn from coffee, spurring a state investigation and a round of training for staff, according to public records.
The state Department of Health found Talahi Nursing and Rehab Center responsible for maltreatment following a neglect complaint it investigated and substantiated in mid-to-late-2018.
The resident had a medical record that included dementia and macular degeneration and needed assistance at meals, according to the state report. And state law requires facilities limit accident hazards.
“During an interview, the director of nursing said the resident had been assessed as needing a coffee cup lid,” according to the Office of Health Facility Complaints Investigative Public Report. “However the resident did not like to use the lid and was trained to use a cup without a lid.”
In July, the resident spilled coffee and sustained a burn on her upper thigh with blisters that burst and had to be monitored for infection, according to the report.
“A family member of the resident said the facility never called her about the burn,” stated the investigative report. She learned about it through another family member and was unhappy with the care at the center.
Elder care facilities are under increasing scrutiny in Minnesota since a state backlog of complaints came to light and advocates have rallied for additional protections for seniors. The state has caught up with its backlog, but advocates are still pushing for reforms and legislators have taken up the mantle.
Most complaints made to the state are not investigated. About 5 percent of reports of alleged maltreatment or licensing violations were investigated in fiscal year 2017, according to an Office of the Legislative Auditor’s 2018 report.
The investigation into Talahi Nursing and Rehab substantiated the claim of neglect and called for additional staff training, which took place.
“We went through everything and changed our policy,” said Talahi’s Director of Nursing Lisa Blahosky on Monday. The facility now uses covered cups for its coffee.
The issue was not a staff issue, Blahosky said. “It was simply an accident.”
The center is on University Drive and provides “transitional care, short-term rehabilitation and post-acute services,” according to its website.
The Department of Health report concluded in late November and confirmed the center uses coffee lids and had retrained staff.
“The facility has come a long way and is doing better and better,” Blahosky said. “(We’re) doing our best to provide quality care to our residents.”
Nora G. Hertel: 320-255-8746, firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @nghertel.
Read or Share this story: https://www.sctimes.com/story/news/2019/02/11/st-cloud-nursing-home-negligence-state-investigation-coffee-burn/2769340002/