MI nursing home fined $100,000 for failure to perform CPR on resident calling for help

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A Michigan nursing home has been fined more than $100,000 for failing to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation to a resident, local news sources reported Monday.

The 80-year-old resident had been calling for help for hours before a registered nurse found her unresponsive and without a pulse, according to local NBC affiliate WOOD. The nurse did not perform CPR or call an ambulance, contrary to the resident's advance directive.

That event occurred in May 2012, and later that year the state fined the facility, Laurels of Sandy Creek in Wayland. It has been fined nearly $229,000 over the last three years, WOOD reported.

“They could have potentially revived her,” a former Laurels of Sandy Creek aide told the television station. “Nobody took responsibility. Someone I think was on lunch, said ‘It wasn't my responsibility,' and the job didn't get done and the lady died.”

However, the facility maintains that it followed best practices. After seeing the signs of clinical death, the nurse followed American Heart Association Guidelines and did not perform CPR, according to a statement issued by Laurels of Sandy Creek Administrator Angel Brummette. The RN's response also follows guidance issued in 2013 by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the statement notes.

“The Laurels of Sandy Creek is and has always been committed to quality care and improvement,” the statement reads. “Through this commitment, our facility has successfully been removed from the Special Focus Facility List that CMS maintains for all nursing facilities."

The Michigan Health Care Association, a group representing long-term care providers, said the incident is not indicative of pervasive problems.

"While any adverse event in a nursing facility is not acceptable, what is being reported does not represent a pattern of poor care at a single facility or throughout the state," HCAM President and CEO David LaLumia stated. Skilled nursing facilities are highly regulated, adverse events are promptly investigated, and all Michigan facilities are improving outcomes through quality improvement and assurance initiatives, he added.*

In May, a Florida nursing home received a $16,000 fine for reviving a resident with a do-not-resuscitate order.

*Editor's Note: The original version of this article has been updated to include the statement issued by HCAM.