California State Health Department Cites Facility for Death of a Resident Due to Sepsis and Dehydration

SACRAMENTO -- Evergreen Healthcare Centers of Vallejo has received a "AA" citation from the state of California, the most severe under state law, State Public Health Officer Dr. Richard J. Jackson announced last week.


The facility received the citation and an $80,000 fine after an investigation by the California Department of Health Services (CDHS) concluded that poor care of a

45-year-old resident led to his death.


The resident was admitted to the facility on April 19, 2001. Records show the resident was alert and oriented, but required complete care for day-to-day activities, including eating and taking fluids.


On Jan. 16, 2004, the resident was found unresponsive by a family member and transferred to an acute care hospital where he was diagnosed with symptoms of severe dehydration. After 30 hours of aggressive intravenous hydration and medication, the resident was pronounced dead at the hospital. The death certificate documented the cause of death as "sepsis and dehydration."


CDHS' investigation determined that the facility failed to properly assess the dangers of dehydration and failed to administer antibiotic medication as ordered by the physician.


The investigation included a review of medical records and interviews with family members, physicians and facility staff. Evergreen Healthcare Centers of Vallejo has a number of options for appealing the citation and is not required to pay the fine until any appeal is completed.


Source: California Department of Health Services