Nursing home resident Sally Keller looked forward to cataract surgery on her left eye. Days earlier, the cataract in her right eye had been removed and her vision dramatically improved. “I went down the hallway saying, ‘I can see, I can see,’ ” the 70-year-old Keller recalled. But after her second cataract surgery, Ellicott Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing, a nursing home on Buffalo’s West Side, repeatedly put eye drops in the wrong eye, a state Health Department investigation determined. “I said, ‘The right eye is fine. It’s the left eye I just had the surgery on,’ ” Keller said. “They said it is not written down. We only have a prescription for the right eye.” An infection ravaged Keller’s left eye. Doctors said they had to surgically remove it. Her story shows how a routine surgery can end horribly for residents in understaffed nursing homes. Federal data shows most of the area nursing homes sold to out-of-town owners in the past 11 years are understaffed compared to nursing homes across the state – and the consequences can be tragic. The registered nursing staff at 15 of the 16 area homes sold to out-of-town investors show nurses spend less time with each resident… Read full this story
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