State regulators slap Brius nursing home with $20k fine after resident suffers life threatening crisis

On June 13, 2016, state regulators tagged Brius’ Granada Rehabilitation and Wellness Center with a $20,000 fine for committing a “Class A” violation that left a resident in imminent danger of death or serious harm. The facility, an 87-bed nursing home, is located in Eureka, California.

During their investigation of an April 28th complaint, California Department of Public Health (CDPH) inspectors found that the Humboldt County nursing home failed to contact a physician immediately after an elderly resident became rigid, began vomiting a brownish-yellow fluid, and had her eyes roll back into her head. The resident was rushed to a local hospital emergency room several hours after she was found unresponsive.

By the time the resident arrived at the emergency room, the resident had rapid and shallow breathing similar to that of a person experiencing cardiac arrest, severe dehydration, reduced brain function, and sepsis, according the CDPH report. ER doctors rushed her to the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) where she was intubated and placed on mechanical ventilation.

She was readmitted to the nursing home following her discharge from the hospital. According to the inspection report, the resident was readmitted with a Stage 4 pressure sore to her tailbone, a urinary tract infection, kidney failure, poorly controlled diabetes, a heart attack following a cardiac arrest, and blood trapped between her chest wall and lungs that required draining.

This event is one of the 37 Class A citations CDPH issued against Rechnitz nursing homes between June 2013 and June 2016. The CDPH has cited the volume and severity of these citations as evidence of Rechnitz’ systematic violation of the rules governing the state’s skilled nursing industry. As a result, the CDPH recently took an unprecedented step of denying Rechnitz’ application to operate five nursing homes.