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If your loved one is residing in an assisted care or skilled nursing facility in South Florida, be mindful of the fact that a holiday nursing home accident in Fort Lauderdale could spell grave difficulties in 2019.holiday nursing home accident Fort Lauderdale

The winter holidays are often one of the best times for nursing home residents, frequently packed with parties, decorations, family visits and outings – maybe even the occasional visits home for special holiday celebrations. However, patients and residents can also be at heightened risk for injuries resulting from a fall, medication errors, improper lifting, carelessness in feeding/ observing dietary restrictions, fire hazards, negligence in transport, fewer physician hours (or substitute physicians filling in) and lower staffing (especially at facilities that can scarcely afford fewer workers on the floor as it is). In some instances, the steady stream of visitors in and out caused nursing home staffers not to carefully vet everyone entering or exiting – leading to patients either wandering out dangerously on their own or allowing potentially predatory visitors in who shouldn’t be.

Although these potential perils exist in nursing homes year-round, the holidays tend to be a particularly hectic time. Most of the time, a holiday nursing home accident could have been prevented with a little extra care and planning – something skilled nursing facility owners and medical staff have a responsibility to provide when such incidents are reasonably foreseeable.

Scheduling Problems, Short Staffing, Can Lead to Holiday Nursing Home Accident in Fort Lauderdale Continue reading →

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Nursing home care is often viewed as a sort of moral obligation, a duty to one’s elders. Still, absent federal and state regulations for nursing homes, this care can fall short, leaving the ill and elderly vulnerable to neglect and abuse. In fact, it was widespread nursing home abuse and neglect in the 1980s that led to the federal  Nursing Home Reform Act in 1987. state regulations for nursing homes Florida

Nursing homes that receive funding from Medicare or Medicaid (which is virtually all of them) are required at minimum to follow federal nursing home standards. However, state regulations for nursing homes, such as those adopted by Florida, must also be followed if facilities want to continue to receive this funding.

Florida State Regulations for Nursing Homes

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Recently the family of a Leesburg man who died of sepsis, allegedly developed after negligence on the part of the assisted living home staff, filed a Florida nursing home wrongful death lawsuit against the facility. Decedent’s estate alleges facility owners failed to properly fund it, in turn improperly staffing the site and leaving residents vulnerable to inadequate supervision and poor care, in this case resulting in a fatal sepsis infection. Florida nursing home wrongful death lawsuit

Sepsis is a serious and often fatal blood infection. There are many infections that can lead to sepsis, especially in someone who is elderly. Within Florida nursing home wrongful death lawsuits, it’s often indicated to be a result of:

  • Catheter use;
  • Bed sores/ open wounds;
  • IV use;
  • Poor hygiene.

Although sepsis is often treatable, it must be identified and addressed swiftly. Failure to do so often results in wrongful death.

A recent report from Kaiser Health News reveals that while no one tracks sepsis cases close enough to know how often they spiral into severe infections that become fatal, the human and financial toll is believed to be enormous. A federal analysis conducted by Definitive Healthcare (a private health care information company) ascertained that between 2014 and 2016, an estimated 25,000 nursing home patients a year suffer from sepsis, are transferred to hospitals and ultimately die. This amounts to a cost of $2 billion a year. Continue reading →

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Florida nursing home arbitration agreements have become increasingly the norm for most for-profit centers that care for the aging, making them a central point of contention in many nursing home injury and wrongful death lawsuits. The law is not exactly settled, but a few Florida Supreme Court decisions in recent years have provided guidance upon which many Palm Beach injury lawyers have relied in determining whether it’s worth fighting to invalidate an arbitration agreement or instead work within that system. Florida nursing home arbitration agreement attorney

Arbitration agreements fall under contract law, which as long as both parties are able, willing and not coerced or defrauded, have almost always been ruled valid. However in recent years, Palm Beach injury attorneys have noted a number of reasons Florida nursing home arbitration agreements are problematic. Among those:

  • Residents must choose between their legal rights and proper care.
  • Residents may not always be fully aware of what they are signing or the fact that the arbitration process usually favors nursing homes.
  • Arbitration allows nursing homes to keep shameful acts and incidents out of the public eye.
  • Discovering the outcome of an arbitration is tough if not impossible, as they are confidential and no database stores them.

In general, our Palm Beach nursing home injury and wrongful death lawyers don’t recommend signing an arbitration agreement if it can be avoided. If a client has one in place in a nursing home abuse case, we’ll generally explore our options to determine if there is a way to invalidate that agreement.  Continue reading →

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The potential for an accident resulting in serious injury is possible anytime a nursing home patient is lifted, repositioned or transferred, whether manually by staffers or via a mechanical lift. Fort Lauderdale nursing home injury lawyers have seen case after case where an immobile nursing home patient has suffered serious and sometimes fatal outcomes as a result of nursing homes and staffers that were negligent in their moving or patients or in their poor planning in doing so. Fort Lauderdale nursing home injury lawyer

Lifting and transferring mishaps occur every day in Florida – even though federal regulators have clear guidelines and numerous healthcare providers know they need to follow them. One of the biggest problems is manual handling of patients, which most health care personnel recognize as problematic. Nonetheless, these problems are ongoing, sometimes because facilities don’t invest in adequate pieces of proper equipment to alleviate the need for nursing home aides and nurses to move patients themselves. Lack of training too is also too often a problem.

Fort Lauerdale nursing home injury lawyer complaints have focused on injuries during transfers and lifts most especially at times involving:

  • Transfers to and from bed to chair, chair to toilet, chair to chair or car to chair;
  • Transfer to and from chair to stretcher;
  • Bed repositioning (side to side/ up or down);
  • Chair repositioning;
  • Patient transfer from sitting to standing or standing to sitting;
  • Weighing;
  • Bathtub, shower, toilet activities.

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The decision place a loved one in an assisted living or nursing home facility is a difficult one with many factors to weigh. When choosing a nursing home in Fort Lauderdale, our South Florida injury attorneys advise not overlooking the facility’s smoking policy and enforcement.Choosing a nursing home in Fort Lauderdale

Recently, The Sun Sentinel reported two nursing home resident injuries at a facility in Plantation following a fire that broke out after a resident was allegedly smoking in his bed. The man, in his 70s, was badly burned and had to be flown to a trauma center burn unit in Miami. His roommate suffered minor burns and smoke inhalation, as did a staff nurse, both treated at a closer Broward County hospital. Some 55 other patients in that wing of the facility had to be evacuated, though were allowed to return a short time later.

This may seem like a “freak accident,” but the reality is nursing home injuries stemming from failure to supervise smoking patients is an ongoing problem that has cropped up repeatedly in Florida and other states. It’s a factor you should especially consider when choosing a nursing home in Fort Lauderdale if your loved one is a smoker or uses electronic cigarettes or vaping devices.

Smoking Standards to Understand When Choosing a Nursing Home in Fort Lauderdale Continue reading →

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When it comes to the top examples of wrongful death cases in Florida nursing homes, sepsis – particularly when caused by bedsores (also known as pressure ulcers) is a primary example. In fact, as our nursing home wrongful death attorneys in Orlando understand it, a recent report by Kaiser Health News and The Chicago Tribune reveals that despite the fact nursing homes around the country repeatedly fail to prevent bedsores and other infections leading to deadly cases of sepsis, there is no official source that tracks sepsis cases that turn fatal.examples of wrongful death cases

Sepsis is an infection of the bloodstream that can develop within patients who are bedridden if they have pneumonia, urinary tract infections or other conditions – like bedsores.

It’s imperative that plaintiffs who suspect an elderly loved one’s sepsis was the result of negligence discuss these options with a nursing home negligence attorney because the wrongful death statute of limitations in Florida is just two years. That may be just enough time to conduct a thorough investigation and properly prepare a claim – particularly if the case is considered a form of medical negligence. That’s because wrongful death statute pertaining to medical malpractice cases is even more complex because of requirements to file proper notice, retain an expert witness with the same relevant education and experience as defendant and making certain all defendants are properly identified.  Continue reading →

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An increasing number of personal injury compensation claims against nursing homes involve not just the lack of proper treatment for patients, but also a snowballing trend of pushing elderly patients to receive therapy they don’t actually need. These additional treatments are not harmless, particularly considering patients are elderly, frail and often dying. personal injury compensation guidelines nursing home Florida

A recent elder care report by Bloomberg, detailing research findings in The Journal of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine, reveals the percentage of nursing home residents who are receiving rehabilitation classified as “ultrahigh intensity” spiked roughly 65 percent from October 2012 to April 2016. The definition of “high intensity” according to Medicaid, is at least nine hours every week. A therapy that is “ultrahigh intensity” is one that is 12 or more hours weekly. In some instances, study authors reported, patients at nursing homes were receiving the highest intensity of rehabilitative therapy in the very last week of their lives.

The analysis involved data from nearly 650 nursing home facilities and nearly 56,000 long-stay residents who had died – with a specific focus on those who were receiving ultrahigh rehabilitative therapies, specifically physical, occupational and speech therapy – in the month prior to death. These treatments, study authors pointed out, would be those garnering the the fattest payouts to insurers. But it’s unlikely to do much of anything to help the patient.  Continue reading →

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In Florida, the wrongful death statute outlined in Chapter 768 of Florida Statutes allows civil lawsuits to be filed in court when another person’s negligent act or omission causes the death of another person. This can include care – or lack of care – provided in a nursing home environment. As nursing home neglect and wrongful death attorneys in Fort Lauderdale know, a fair number of these cases center not so much on what nursing home staff did as what they failed to do. This can be the case when individuals suffer the ill effects of poor sanitation and basic care guidelines on how to halt the spread of disease and infection. This includes those condition spread by pests or caused by them directly. wrongful death statute

That includes conditions like scabies. a highly-contagious skin condition (spread most often by skin-to-skin contact, but also with shared towels, bedding and clothing) and caused by a parasitic mite called Sarcoptes scabiei, or the human itch mite. The mite burrows into the top layer of one’s skin, where it then lives and feeds. Although it can technically affect anyone, it is, as noted by the epidemiology program at the Florida Department of Health, it is often reported in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. While scabies isn’t typically listed in common examples of wrongful death cases in nursing homes, that is not to say complications from the skin condition can’t be deadly. Continue reading →

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Spinal cord injuries, more than most other types, have the potential to cause significant, profound and devastating disabilities and limitations. Nursing homes that agree to care for patients with spinal cord injuries have responsibility to ensure their patients receive the appropriate level of care. The state and federal government often pays much more for these patients to receive a higher degree of care, and Fort Lauderdale spinal cord injury attorneys know nursing homes that don’t provide it can be deemed liable if it results in further injury, loss of life quality or an untimely death. spinal cord injury attorney

It is possible some spinal cord injuries might actually be caused by negligent nursing home case, such as in a fall where aides or nurses failed to properly assist in toileting or getting in and out of bed.

However, it’s not among the more common injuries associated with nursing homes. More frequently, those with serious spinal cord injuries may be cared for – temporarily or permanently – in such a facility, but due to lack of mobility and independence and lack of sensation in certain areas of the body, they are more vulnerable to the same injury and illness risks all other nursing home patients face. This is especially true for those with quadriplegia, wherein all limbs are affected, as opposed to paraplegia, where only one’s legs are immobile. Those with a complete spinal cord injury (where there is a total severing of the cord) also are at higher risk than those with incomplete spinal cord injuries, as the latter may still retain some sensation and mobility.  Continue reading →

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