A Florida woman plans to sue a nursing home, alleging that staff neglected to treat her father’s bedsore wounds and then tried to cover the smell with coffee grounds.
Vivian Wright’s father, Frank, entered Heartland Health Care Center of Orange Park in September 2019 after two strokes and multiple trips to the emergency room.
One day, during a visit, she and her brother-in-law found piles of coffee grounds under his bed, First Coast News reported.
Wright has filed a notice of intention to sue for malpractice, in which she alleges that the grinds were used to cover the smell of an infected bedsore that staff had failed to properly care for.
Vivian Wright (pictured) has filed a notice of intention to sue Heartland Health Care Center of Orange Park, in Florida, over her father’s care
Frank Wright, 86 (left and right), suffered the first of two strokes in 2013 and was in and out of hospitals for high blood pressure and irregular heartbeat He was admitted to Heartland in September 2019 after multiple visits to the emergency room
Wright told First Coast News that her father worked for the Department of Defense, as a boilermaker on the ships at Naval Station Mayport for more than 25 years.
‘He spent a lot of time at Mayport working on the Navy ships. He loved being a boilermaker – that was his favorite thing to do,’ she said.
But his health started to decline in 2013 when he suffered his first stroke.
Frank was in and out of St Catherine Laboure Place, a hospital in Jacksonville, over the next six years as he was treated for bedsores, high blood pressure, an irregular heartbeat and a second stroke.
According to First Coast News, Frank was admitted to Heartland in September 2019 after several visits to the ER.
Wright alleges that from the time her father arrived at the nursing home, staff failed to make sure he had regular check-ups with his doctors and to take care of his wounds.
She says that Frank has two bedsores, which are ulcers that form from pressure due to lying in a bed or sitting in a wheelchair for long periods of time, including one on his buttocks.
Bedsores typically begin as red areas that eventually turn purple. If left untreated, the bedsore can break open and become infected.
Wright told First Coast News that when visiting the nursing home last month, her brother-in-law noticed coffee grounds underneath her father’s bed.
‘My brother-in-law said: ‘Did you see the coffee ground underneath the bed?” she said.
‘I said: ‘No I didn’t see the coffee ground underneath the bed. Why is the coffee ground under the bed?”
Coffee grounds contain nitrogen from caffeine, and the element helps to neutralize sulfur, which gives many unpleasant smells their stench.
Wright alleges that staff used the coffee grounds to hide the odor of an infection from Frank’s bedsore on his buttocks.
‘It just seemed normal to them to put coffee ground underneath the bed,’ she said.
‘If I had a smell coming from me, I’m going to the emergency room.’
Vivian says that while she was visiting her father one day, her brother-in-law noticed coffee grounds under the bed. Pictured: Heartland
In the notice of intention to sue, Vivian (pictured) alleges that the grounds were used to cover the smell of her father’s infected bedsore wound on his buttocks
Sometime after the grinds were discovered, the wound was drained at Orange Park Medical Center, reported First Coast News.
Medicare.gov lists Heartland’s quality of resident care as ‘below average’ and its health inspection rating as ‘much below average.’
Over the last three years, the facility has had two complaints that resulted in citations filed against it.
One was for failing to to notify in writing to one resident of their intent to transfer or discharge him and the other was for failure to permit a resident to return to the facility following a hospital transfer.
Wright says there is a 75-day waiting period mandated by the notice of intention before he father can be removed from the facility.
‘I want them to change some procedures and guidelines ’cause it really doesn’t work for everybody,’ she told First Cost News.
‘If they couldn’t handle the wound, I don’t think they should have accepted him in that facility.’
Heartland’s corporate office sent a statement to DailyMail.com’s, saying it is taking the allegations seriously.
‘The emotional and physical well-being of our residents is our primary concern. We take pride in our long-standing history of delivering quality care to the residents of this community, and are sad to learn that a family member of a patient is unhappy with the care being provided,’ the statement read.
‘We actively and continuously work with state regulators to ensure that our residents are receiving the care ordered by their physicians, and do our best to provide information and support to families during what can be emotionally stressful situations.’