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Nursing Home Neglect Foreshadowed By Health and Safety Violations

Nursing home neglect is believed to have led to the death of a resident, prompting a local news team to investigate the facility’s history. What they found was a checkered history of health and safety code violations, as well as reprimands for severe – and at times deadly – neglect.

Our Royal Palm Beach nursing home abuse lawyers know that many times when we receive a case of neglect or abuse, it’s not the first time that particular facility has had issues. Whether it is a substandard inspection report or previous reports of actual abuse, there is usually more to the story.

In this case, out of Maryland, state authorities say a patient died after staff at the facility failed to provide proper care in an emergency situation. They didn’t provide specifics, but did say that such action represents a failure in providing a basic quality of care.

Just a few years ago, another patient died at that same facility as a result of infected bed sores, according to court records. In that case, the family successfully sued for wrongful death.

The local television station in the area, Fox5, said it uncovered more than 60 health and safety deficiencies back in 2010. There were another 36 in 2011 and so far this year, there have been 27. One could argue the facility has been improving, but that is still about triple the Maryland state average, according to the state office of health care quality.

Some of those deficiencies at the 230-bed facility included things like medication errors, writing care plans, excessive use of chemical restraints, oversight of care plans and resident rights violations.

One of those who filed a complaint was a man who was only supposed to be at the facility for a few weeks. He had spent some time in the hospital, and was sent to the nursing home in order to continue his rehabilitation. At the time, he was recovering from a sacral ulcer. These are also commonly referred to as bedsores or pressure ulcers. At the time he was admitted, the sore was small and he was getting better.

However, within a month, that sore had grown to the size of a football, and covered his backside. The infection had spread into the muscles. Not only was it incredibly painful, it was also gangrenous – meaning it was deadly. In fact, the man fell into septic shock, as his organs began to shut down. A doctor said if he’d delayed his admittance even a day, he would surely have died.

Thankfully, doctors at the hospital were able to save him, but the road to recovery has been incredibly slow. Six months later, he’s now recovering at a different nursing home.

Cases like this illustrate why it’s so important for loved ones to thoroughly research the background of a facility before you place your relative there. Of course, there is no guarantee that even a nursing home with a stellar record won’t turn up problems. But ask the questions. You can start with the Medicare Nursing Home Compare site.

And if you are concerned that your loved one has been abused or neglected in a Royal Palm Beach nursing home, call us for a confidential consultation.

Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez — 1-800-561-7777 for a free appointment to discuss your rights.

Additional Resources:
FOX 5 Investigates: Maryland nursing home accused of neglect, Nov. 26, 2012, By Sherry Ly, MyFox DC

More Blog Entries:
Florida Nursing Home Placed on Federal Watch List, Oct. 18, 2012, Royal Palm Beach Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers

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