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Failure to Resuscitate Cases at Nursing Homes

According to recent news article from The National Law Review, one family has filed a lawsuit in which they claim the nursing home wherein their loved one was living failed to make any attempts to resuscitate her when they found her in a non-responsive condition.

The civil complaint alleges the victim was first admitted to defendant’s nursing home after a bad case of pneumonia, along with renal failure and complications with her diabetes management.  The family hoped the nursing home would be better able to monitor and control her diabetes, and then when she was further along in her recovery, they would take her home. That was a realistic goal given that she was only 52-years-old, but unfortunately, she died in the nursing home facility.

As our West Palm Beach nursing home injury lawyers can explain, any decision with respect to whether or not to resuscitate a resident in the event of a medical emergency is clearly worked out between the resident or the family and that nursing home.  There is a chart that is marked, whether on paper or on the computer, that clearly spells out what the course of action should be in this situation.

In this case, it has been alleged that multiple nurses and other staff members misread victim’s chart and determined she had a do not resuscitate (DNR) order associated with her case management jacket, when it clearly said that they wished to have all reasonable medical intervention.  For this reason, she was found in respiratory arrest (not breathing), and they did not make any efforts to save her life.

This incident was supposedly captured on video. The video shows that when the vital signs monitoring devices set off an alarm, staff members would come into the room and look at victim, but did not take any other action or alert any other staff members. This occurred with the three different staff members. The video did not show anyone performing CPR, calling a code blue as is standard protocol, or sending in a crash cart.  They allegedly did nothing as she died.

At around 30 minutes after she first went to respiratory arrest, someone form the facility called 911, but by the time first responders arrived at the nursing home facility, there was nothing that could be done.  At this point, the police and the local public health department were called in to investigate the matter.

They determined that at least in an effort to prevent future incidents of this nature, any patient who wished to have a DNR order on their chart would also be given a pink bracelet to wear.  Any patient who was not wearing a bracelet of this type would be given all reasonable medical efforts to prevent their death.  This bracelet would not replace the need to look at the chart.

It should be noted that the nursing home company said they have reviewed the video, and it did not show any evidence of negligence on behalf of their staff.  They claim she died of complications related to her “chronic and fatal disease” and not because of anything staff did or did not do.

Call Freeman Injury Law — 1-800-561-7777 for a free appointment to discuss your rights. Now serving Orlando, West Palm Beach, Port St. Lucie and Fort Lauderdale.

Additional Resources:
Family Alleges Chicagoland Nursing Home Failed to Resuscitate Loved One, July 3, 2017, By Jonathan Rosenfeld, The National Law Review

More Blog Entries:

Concussions, Brain Injuries From Falls in Nursing Homes Occurring at “Unprecedented” Rates, April 25, 2017, Nursing Home Fall Attorney Blog

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