Nursing Home Cited in Burning Death
Palomar Heights Care Center on Wednesday received the state's most serious citation and was fined $100,000 after a resident receiving oxygen was left alone while smoking a cigarette and burned to death, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
Anna Ramirez of the Division of Licensing and Certification's coastal region said, "Even though the resident was advised he shouldn't be smoking while his oxygen was turned on, he wasn't wearing a flame-retardant apron as required and the attendant left him alone."
According to Ramirez and state documents, the patient was visible on a surveillance camera, but the nurse who was charged with watching him was filling out charts.
The nursing home deemed the Jan. 11 death "accidental." Palomar Heights officials said in state documents they would reassess any residents at risk for injury while smoking and prohibit residents from smoking while receiving oxygen.
The citation is the fourth the facility has received from the state in three years (Clark, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2/23).