Home / Health / Wanaque center ordered to cease admissions
The number of children infected now stands at 33. A staff member has been infected but has recovered.
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Scott Fallon, Staff Writer, @NewsFallon
State officials on Wednesday ordered all admissions to cease at a Wanaque nursing home where a virus outbreak has killed 10 children, saying that failures of infection control pose an “imminent and serious risk of harm” to its residents. 19659007] The Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation received the worst rating possible – “immediate jeopardy” – from state inspectors after three visits over the last week. Die beoordeling kan resulteren in beëindiging van deelname in Medicaid en Medicare programma’s als defecten zijn niet corrected.
Der er for øjeblikket 43 børn i den første-etages ventilatorenhed hvor viruset har spredt, 19 børn i den anden-etages pædiatriske enhed, som ikke er påvirket og 125 voksne patienter at the facility, the department said.
An initial inspection on Oct. 21 found that four of the six employees observed had washed their hands inadequately when caring for patients. Subsequent inspections on Nov. 9, 11 and 13 found “evidence of continuing non-compliance” that “is presently ongoing,” wrote Gene Rosenblum, the director of the Health Department’s office of program compliance, in a letter to the center’s administrator on Wednesday.
“The surveyors identified egregious deficient practices in infection prevention and control which posed an immediate jeopardy … to residents,” Rosenblum wrote.
Thirty-three children and one staff member have been diagnosed with adenovirus in the outbreak, and 10 have died. Ondanks de aanwezigheid in het centrum van een communicabele ziekte specialist van de staat Health Department sinds oktober. 5, additional cases continue to be identified. Twee bewoners werden gediagnosticeerd als onlangs als maandag.
“We decided to act when we saw serious deficiencies – for patient safety reasons,” said Dr. Shereef Elnahal, the state health commissioner, noted that the final inspection report was still in progress. Conditions were so urgent that the department could not wait for the ongoing assessment to be completed. “
More: Wanaque Center gets millions in taxpayer funds to care for NJ’s fragile children
Virus Outbreak: Wanaque facility has been cited for deficiencies
Closing the facility is impractical, the health commissioner has said, because of the risk of moving the fan-dependent children and the real possibility that they would spread the infection elsewhere.
New Jersey has only four long-term care facilities that are equipped to care for such children. The two largest – Wanaque and the Voorhees Pediatric Facility – are both battling adenovirus outbreaks. (Eight children have been sickened but none have died in the outbreak in Voorhees, which involves a milder strain of the virus.) The two others – branches of Children’s Specialized Hospit Alan, a part of RWJBarnabas Health, in Mountainside and Toms River – have long waiting lists, Elnahal said.
Wednesday’s stepped-up enforcement action came after Elnahal previously described the problems his department had identified at the center as “minor hand- washing deficiencies. “
On Wednesday, he said:” The fact that we are continuing to see new, confirmed cases at this point, despite all efforts towards strict compliance with protocols, has made the facility’s layout limitations clear. This action is required to keep patients safer in the future. “
A spokesman for the facility’s owners, Eugene Ehrenfeld and Daniel Bruckstein of Continuum Healthcare LLC, said he was not able to comment immediately.
The state demanded that the Wanaque center hire two consultants – a “certified infection control practitioner” and a physician specializing in infectious diseases – by noon on Friday.
Both must be on-site 40 hours a week and cover all shifts and weekends, the order said. The physician must be completely independent of the Wanaque Center, with no ties to its principals, managers or employees or their relatives. Both must begin work on Monday.
Further sanctions, including fines, suspension “and / or license revocation,” may be applied if the facility does not comply, Rosenblum said in his letter to Rowena Bautista, the center’s administrator.  The facility also must demonstrate that it can separate residents in the fan unit who do not have symptoms from those who have the virus, the department said. The outbreak has been confined to the fan unit so far.
Once the consultants are retained, admissions to the adult and regular pediatric unit can be resumed. Men ingen børn kan være indlagt til den respiratoriske enhed, indtil centret har grupperet patienterne på passende vis for at kontrollere infektionen og at sundhedsavdelingen gives sin godkendelse.
Approval must also be requested from the Health Department before a child who has been hospitalized with adenovirus is readmitted to the Wanaque Center, the letter said.
That left the family of one hospitalized child uncertain about the future.
The mother of an 18-year-old who is recovering at St. Joseph’s University Medical Center in Paterson said Wednesday night that she had not heard from anyone about her daughter being barred from returning to Wanaque.
“Where is she supposed to go after this?” Asked the mother, who wants to remain anonymous to protect her family’s privacy. “Someone should have told me about this.”
The daughter was set to go back to Wanaque on Tuesday but suffered a mild seizure that kept her at St. Joseph’s.
The mother did not want her daughter to return to Wanaque, fearing she would again become infected. Doctors have told her that her daughter may be discharged later this week if her condition improves. Where she will end up is not yet known to her mother.
“I’m glad she’s not going back, but what’s going to happen now?” The mother asked.
The state Senate Health Committee plans to hold a hearing about the outbreak on Dec. 3.
Previously, the Wanaque Center had voluntarily curtailed admissions until the outbreak was declared over, which occurs when two complete two-week incubation periods have passed. Wednesday’s order to cease admissions can be lifted only by the state.
The date at which the outbreak will be declared over has been repeatedly pushed back as new cases have been diagnosed. It now stands at Dec. 7.
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