KIRKLAND, Wash. — Federal surveyors found what they are calling "immediate jeopardy" situations during an inspection of the Life Care Center nursing home in Kirkland, according to a report from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
The three situations are those in which patient safety is "placed in imminent danger." The nursing home is considered to be the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in Washington state.
The situations specifically include: the facility's failure to quickly identify and manage ill residents, notify the Washington State Department of Health about the increasing rate of respiratory infection among residents, and failure to possess a backup plan following the absence of the Life Care Center's primary clinician - who became ill.
According to a CDC report, in early March there were 129 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in connection to the Life Care Center, including 81 residents, 34 staff members and healthcare personnel and 14 visitors.
“The coronavirus outbreak at Life Care was an unprecedented situation for the state of Washington,” said Washington Department of Social & Health Services Secretary Cheryl Strange. “We have worked closely with our federal partners over the last several weeks to determine what lead to the outbreak there and what contributed to its spread throughout the facility. We have learned valuable lessons. We are applying these lessons daily in our efforts to prepare long term care facilities throughout the state for the potential of COVID-19. Our regulatory teams are highly focused on visiting all nursing homes in Washington state to ensure those who care for some of our most vulnerable citizens are practicing proper infection control.”
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control, 147 nursing homes in 27 states have at least one resident with coronavirus. Older populations are more vulnerable to the virus, according to health officials.
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the CDC are collaborating to identify areas the virus is likely to spread.