State issues most severe penalty possible to Bakersfield skilled-nursing facility

Valley Convalescent Hospital in Bakersfield, Calif., is seen July 19, 2017. (KBAK/KBFX photo)

The state says it has slapped a Bakersfield nursing facility with the most severe penalty it can after the death of a patient.

An 80-year-old man died eight days after falling out of a bed and suffering from a cervical spine fracture (broken neck) at Valley Convalescent Hospital on 8th Street, according to the California Department of Public Health. This happened in late February.

The state found the patient was repositioned in bed by a staffer, but the Valley Convalescent Hospital staffer didn't put up the guardrail when finished.

The fine of $100,000 is the highest amount the CDPH can assess in a citation for what it judges to be poor care. The CDPH licenses such facilities and enforces a standard of care.

Gary Jarvis, Risk Manager for Valley Convalescent Hospital, called Eyewitness News back after the first report aired.

He said this is an unfortunate situation and said there is nothing to "definitively" say who put the railing down. The facility said they followed the state's plan of correction and made all the changes. Jarvis said state officials were back last week.

Jarvis said he did not know the status of current employment for the accused staff member.

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