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Two Women Die From Falls At Laguna Honda
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
April 4, 2007

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA--Two women have died in recent months after falling at Laguna Honda Hospital and Rehabilitation Center.

The California Department of Health Services gave the facility its most severe "AA" citation, and its strongest penalty -- a $100,000 fine -- following the death of 82-year-old Hui Su.

A coroner determined that Mrs. Su, who had dementia, along with a history of falling and wandering away, died of blunt force trauma to the head after falling to the ground on October 30. Police investigators say she fell from the third floor of Laguna Honda's Clarendon Hall when she was not monitored. Officials with the San Francisco Department of Public Health, which oversees the nursing facility, argue that she fell from the second floor.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported last week that state officials said the 1,200-bed facility failed to review, evaluate, update and implement a care plan for Su, and to control her wandering.

On Wednesday of this week, KGO-TV reported that the state has launched a new investigation into the death of 63-year-old Lan Khuu.

Sometime in early January, Ms. Khuu, who experienced heart and kidney problems, apparently fell down inside Clarendon Hall. Doctors examined her hip and found no fractures, but failed to examine her head. A few days later, a CAT scan showed that her brain was bleeding. She died a few days later.

A medical examiner said she died from complications of blunt force injury to her head.

In a related story, KGO aired an odd exchange between its investigative reporter Dan Noyes and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. After Newsom reportedly dodged Noyes' attempts to interview him about conditions at Laguna Honda, the reporter caught up with the mayor at a civic event. When Noyes asked about the nursing facility, Newsom said he was "happy to take any questions" from reporters, then immediately turned and walked away from Noyes.

Disability rights advocates from across the country have spent several years protesting the city's plan to rebuild the 138-year-old facility, which is the largest publicly owned nursing home in the U.S. and the oldest in California.

"Hospital fined $100,000 in patient death" (San Francisco Chronicle)
"Investigation Into Second Laguna Honda Death' (KGO)
"Laguna Honda Hospital -- Largest Nursing Home In US" (Inclusion Daily Express Archives)

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