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The family of a New Jersey woman is suing a nursing home after their loved one died as a result of a painful bedsore she reportedly developed while in the center’s care. This is unfortunately an all-too-common scenario for those who entrust their care to nursing homes. Bed sores are not a normal part of nursing home living. They are preventable and treatable if caught early. No one should die as a result of a bed sore infection. nursing home injury attorney

NJ.com reports the 90-year-old woman was admitted to the facility two years ago with a broken right hip. She was confined to her hospital bed for a period of 100 days, after which point her insurance ran out. In all that time, her family alleges, the doctor and staffers at the facility either failed to notice or ignored the fact that she had developed and was suffering from a serious bed sore on her lower back.

When the woman was returned home to family after her insurance ran out, it was only then they discovered the sore on her back. Her family rushed her to a nearby hospital, where she was diagnosed with a Stage 4 decubitus ulcer. The sore was so far progressed, the woman was suffering from deadly sepsis.  Continue reading →

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Some nursing home patients seek care for the long-term expecting they will live out their days in that facility. Others know they will need longer-term, less intensive care than might be provided in a hospital, but hope eventually to improve and return to living independently.nursing home abuse lawyer

But when nursing home care is substandard, patients’ health may not improve as expected. In some cases, a patient’s health declines. Nursing homes that are negligent in providing proper care may be held accountable for the negative impact to patients’ health.

Accountability is the goal of one Boca Raton man, alleging treatment at a poorly staffed nursing home in South Florida amounted to negligence and left him requiring more medication and needing treatment longer than he otherwise would have.  Continue reading →

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A lawsuit recently filed in North Carolina alleges an elderly woman suffered in agony for 10 days with a broken hip after suffering a fall that went untreated and unreported by her nursing home.wheelchair

According to local media reports, plaintiff was a known fall risk when she was admitted to the facility, and there was even an alarm on her wheelchair intended to notify staffers if she were to get up.

Plaintiff alleges she called for an attendant to help her to the bathroom. However, there was no response, and as nature called, she decided to get up on her own. As she did so, she slipped and fell. This resulted in serious injury.  Continue reading →

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A $6,000-per-day penalty imposed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on an Illinois nursing home was upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently. The fine stemmed from a finding that the nursing home put patients in immediate jeopardy when it failed to protect them from nursing home abuse and theft. The CMS investigation also revealed the facility failed to timely report or thoroughly investigate allegations of abuse inflicted on residents, and didn’t implement policies on abuse, neglect or property theft. nursing home abuse

The appellate court ruled there was substantial evidence to support CMS’s conclusions that formed the basis for the penalty. It stemmed from a site visit by investigators with the state health department back in 2014.

There was an allegation at the time that a resident and his wife suffered emotional abuse when a female staffer approached the male resident, grabbed his face in her hands, kissed him on both cheeks and then the forehead before telling him she had always loved him. Administrators did launch an investigation into the incident, but only insofar as they questioned staff and other residents. However, they did not formally interview the resident or his wife.  Continue reading →

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The White House is pushing to scuttle a rule that would have paved the way for more nursing home residents to take legal action against nursing homes for poor care, abuse and neglect. Such injuries for nursing home negligence are actionable under state personal injury laws. However, the Obama administration had made it easier for plaintiff’s by preventing nursing homes from mandating new patients agree to arbitration – as opposed to the court system – to resolve any future disputes. nursing home negligence

Many nursing homes require new patients, patient representatives and family members to sign arbitration agreements as a condition of being admitted to the facility. Arbitration agreements are known to infringe on the rights of patients for a number of reasons. Firstly, arbitrators are chosen by the facilities and insurers, creating an implicit bias. Arbitrators are not bound by the laws of the state. The proceedings are private, depriving the public of valuable information regarding the practices and shortcomings of these facilities. They also tend more often than not to favor the facility, awarding less on average than the courts when they do decide a case in a plaintiff’s favor.

As The New York Times reported, the Trump administration is now seeking to roll back earlier protections, citing the need to reduce costs for businesses.  Continue reading →

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While many states – including Florida – offer extensive information about abuse and neglect reports generated from care in nursing homes and hospitals, most make it very difficult to obtain information on the care in state-regulated facilities. In one example recently chronicled by the Associated Press, a man rendered severely and permanently disabled by a car accident more than a quarter century ago suffered for weeks with an infestation of maggots.nursing home neglect

According to the report, the man, who is unable to walk, talk or even breathe on his own, was helpless when the tiny larval flies invaded a hole in his throat near his breathing tube. It was the first of two such infestations he suffered, resulting in numerous hospital emergency department trips and extensive treatment. A subsequent investigation by the state revealed his caretakers neglected him for days at a time, allowing the infestation to take hold. And yet, despite the egregiousness in the lapse of care, no one might have learned anything about it had the AP not made specific and detailed requests for the information.

As noted by the reporters, it’s far simpler for a member of the public to learn about possible health code violations in a restaurant than to learn about errors or lapses in care at institutions run by the state. That kind of information could be invaluable to those searching for information about where to send a loved one who requires around-the-clock medical care.  Continue reading →

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A class action lawsuit has been settled for $345,000 after dozens of patients and family members of patients allege they were given powerful drugs without due consideration for the harmful impact those drugs may have on patients. nursing home abuse

In one example, the son of a nursing home patient alleged he was explicit in explaining his mother’s wishes and directing doctors not to give her any painkillers except aspirin and no antipsychotic medications. Despite this, they gave her Restoril, an anti-anxiety medication, Norco (a pain medication with a high risk for addiction and dependency also known to cause respiratory distress) and Lexapro, an SSRI anti-depressant. Plaintiff alleged the nursing home signed a paper saying the doctor had received consent from patient and/ or health care power of attorney to administer the drugs, but no such permission had been given. Other patients/ families alleged they were given anitpsychotic medications to suppress certain symptoms of dementia – a practice known as “chemical restraints” that is not only largely ineffective, it can be harmful. It’s generally done more the convenience of staffers than for the benefit of the patient.

Although the amount of money to be awarded to each family is minimal, but plaintiffs say their larger goal was to compel changes at the facility. As part of the settlement agreement, the facility will be required to undergo random spot inspections of health records. The nursing home must enact clear standards explaining the benefits and risks of psycho-therapeutic drugs to residents and/ or legal representatives. Continue reading →

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A nursing home choking death has resulted in an $875,000 settlement recently, following allegations the nursing home failed to comply with his doctor’s diet orders, feeding the resident solid food as opposed to the mechanical soft-only food he was supposed to have. nursing home negligence

As noted by researchers with The University of Michigan’s School of Medicine, mechanical soft diets are recommended for people who have trouble with chewing. It generally means food is soft or cooked until tender and then blended in a blender or food processor or else is pureed. The goal is to provide a balanced diet with adequate amounts of protein and calories for people who have problems with chewing. Individuals on mechanical soft diets are often instructed to eat six smaller meals a day, rather than three larger ones.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that over a recent three-year period, some 2,200 people over 65 died in choking incidents in the U.S. Individuals with Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and pneumonitis were more vulnerable, and choking deaths appear to be on the rise in nursing homes and health care settings.  Continue reading →

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The death of an elderly woman suffering from Alzheimer’s disease has prompted her son to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the nursing home. He alleges his mother was forgotten in her bath, where she was found the next morning. nursing home negligence

According to The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the woman’s routine had involved taking a nightly soak in a whirlpool bath she dubbed her “boat,” where she would wash herself before being helped to bed by a nursing aid. The woman reportedly started her bath one evening in March 2016, but her help never returned. Hours later, shortly before 5 a.m., a nursing assistant suddenly recalled she had taken the woman to the shower room but had not returned to get her. The woman’s body was discovered there in a tub of cold water, the jets of the whirlpool still on full blast.

Her son alleges the nursing home was negligent in causing his mother to suffer and die, specifically by under-staffing its nursing home, which is home to 240 people.  Continue reading →

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A medication error reportedly led to the death of a nursing home resident in Ohio, resulting in criminal charges and a civil nursing home abuse lawsuit. nursing home negligence

The death happened two years ago, but misdemeanor criminal charges have just been filed against three of the workers, while decedent’s family has filed a negligence lawsuit against the nursing home facility for vicarious liability of its employees, in addition to issues with prescription protocols.

The family’s wrongful death lawsuit alleges the nursing home resident died after he was inadvertently given morphine instead of another medication, and then allegedly tried to cover up those errors by treating his overdose on their own. Prosecutors say the charges of patient abuse and tampering with records stem not just from the mistakes that were made with the medication, but the failure to take appropriate action once the serious error was discovered.  Continue reading →

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