A state health official told lawmakers that a Thomasville nursing home put residents at risk during a January snowstorm.
An investigation found Pine Ridge Health and Rehabilitation Center failed to follow its own emergency plan. Inspectors found eight of the most serious types of infractions, those that can put residents in immediate jeopardy.
Emery Milliken is the deputy director for the North Carolina Division of Health Service Regulation. She says two residents were found dead and two others were transported with life-threatening conditions that weekend as a staff of three people tried to care for 98 residents before first responders were called in to assist.
“You can't read that report and not feel a real sense of sadness for both what happened to the residents and for those three staff who were trying so hard to serve the needs of 98,” she says. “I think it was truly a traumatic incident for both.”
Milliken says when a nursing home has that many people in it there are typically about 14 staff members to care for them. Pine Ridge had only a licensed practical nurse and two nursing assistants.
Nursing homes are required to have an emergency plan to deal with crises such as inclement weather. Milliken says Pine Ridge had such a plan but did not implement it during the snowstorm.
She says the home has filed a plan of correction to address the concerns raised in the report.