A Columbia nursing home accused last month of neglecting an elderly patient has been cleared of any wrongdoing after a state investigation of the facility, state officials said yesterday.
Patients at the Lorien Nursing Home & Rehabilitation Center in Hickory Ridge village were found to be free from any physical problems that might constitute neglect, according to Carol Benner, director of the state's Licensing and Certification Administration, which regulates nursing homes.
However, the Lorien patient -- whose alleged overgrown fingernails, old dressings, dirty catheter and multiple bedsores prompted a Howard County General Hospital employee to call police after the man was admitted for treatment -- was found to have bedsores, technically known as decubitus ulcers, Benner said.
"We don't like the ulcers, but we realize that this is sometimes unavoidable [because] the patient does have multiple illnesses," she said. "We were not able to substantiate any neglect at all."
Said Karen Jordan, administrator of the 361-bed nursing home, "I am glad the state came out and spent time in our facility. I wasn't surprised by their arrival or their findings."
The patient, Vernon Brown, 75, has lived at Lorien for about eight years and has long-term illnesses that prevent him from walking, talking or caring for himself in any way, according to his doctor. His alleged poor condition alarmed some hospital employees when he was admitted in late August with possible pneumonia, prompting one of them to call police.
More than a week later, after a story in The Sun about the allegations, an investigator from Benner's office spent nearly a full day at the nursing home, Jordan said.
The investigator checked dozens of patients' for overgrown fingernails, bedsores and general cleanliness and found no signs of neglect, she said.
The investigator's report was not available because it takes a week or two to process within the state agency, Benner said.
Pub Date: 10/10/96