State Closes Troubled Nursing Home in San Antonio

December 3, 2007

Dozens of people were wheeled out on stretchers and transferred by ambulances from a troubled nursing home in San Antonio, Texas, after state regulators decided to close the facility.

The 43 residents of Mayfield Care Center were taken to other facilities Dec. 1, when state officials closed the center over safety concerns.

“We’re crying as patients go out the door. It tears my heart out,” said nurse Johnny Rodriguez. “We don’t have jobs anymore and our residents are suffering. It’s horrible.”

Workers at the center had been working volunteer shifts without pay, a vendor was repossessing the ventilator equipment needed to keep 21 residents alive and there was only enough food to last a day and a half, according to documents.

“We stayed all night and we bought them stuff so they could eat,” said nursing assistant Bobby Rodriguez. “Nobody cared about them except for us.”

Mayfield Care Center had been under scrutiny since November 2006, when the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services found “the facility was providing extremely poor quality of care which posed an immediate threat to the safety of residents.” At the time, a judge appointed administrator David French to oversee Mayfield.

French decided to close the center after determining there was a “threat to the health and safety of the residents of Mayfield,” according to a letter written by his attorney and obtained by the San Antonio Express-News.

Twelve complaints were filed against Mayfield in 2007, state records show.

During an April inspection, regulators tallied 17 violations of federal standards and 20 violations of state standards. Those ranged from too many medication errors to staff members failing to help patients eat and drink.

The nursing home was fined more than $100,000 for safety violations. The facility owed the Internal Revenue Service taxes. Staffers were owed more than $100,000, according to the letter.

The center’s owner could not be located for comment.

Information from: San Antonio Express-News,

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