Documents reveal long list of deficiencies at Marion Nursing Center

Inspections by government officials revealed a long list of deficiencies at the Marion Nursing Center that led the US Department of Health and Human Services to pull Medicare and Medicaid funding from the home this week.

The detailed report filled more than 100 pages. It stated "Immediate Jeopardy and/or Substandard Care" exists at the nursing home, based on reviews of medical records and interviews with staff and residents.

Among those deficiencies:

A resident with an eye infection who didn't receive daily prescribed eye drops for "a total of 39 days."

Several residents who "did not have pressure sore dressings in place" per doctor's order.

A diabetic patient who "missed a dialysis appointment." That resident later had symptoms including drowsiness and disorientation and was eventually given CPR. The report says the "Resident expired at the hospital."

As for the bed sores, a Surfside Beach attorney who specializes in elder law says there's almost no reason why a patient should have those sores, because they can be prevented.

"That's something that's pretty serious," said attorney Kathryn DeAngelo. "It means there's probably some level of neglect by the medical or nursing staff."

The report details sanitation and cleanliness issues at Marion Nursing Center as well.

They include:

Nurses who didn't wash their hands during dressing of wounds.

Nurses who failed to disinfect scissors during catheter care.

Residents who were allowed to smoke unattended in non-smoking areas.

DeAngelo says family members of nursing home residents need to be advocates for their loved ones.

She suggests making unannounced visits to the home, talking to other residents about how they're treated, questioning administrators about things like the ratio of staff members to residents, and checking out family member yourself when you go to visit them.

"Are they in diapers and if they are, are they clean, are they dry? If they aren't able to ambulate, if they're bed-ridden, check the mat and make sure there's nothing hidden that might be a problem."

DeAngelo suggests family members should check out web sites that evaluate and review sing homes, including AARP, Elder Law Answers and the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.

State officials met this week with Marion Nursing Center residents and their families to help them transfer out of the facility.

Our attempts to reach officials from the nursing home were unsuccessful.