Articles Tagged with nursing home injury

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One of the largest nursing home chains in Florida – Consulate Health Care – has a long track record of poor patient care, yet has continued to keep its doors open. The Naples Daily News reported this was the same company a jury ordered to pay $348 million in damages to the family of Jacksonville-area man who was allegedly denied critical care services, despite the fact that the government had reimbursed for it. That verdict was later overturned by a federal judge on appeal, who noted nothing the center was accused of had spurred action by regulators with the state or federal government. Prior inspections of the company’s nursing homes haven’t resulted in fines. However, reporters were quick to note that doesn’t automatically translate to the company being free of problems. nursing home abuse

Investigators have cited the firm on numerous occasions for abuse, mistreatment and neglect of patients – serious enough that some of them could have technically been shut down, though they never were. In most cases, the company was never even fined.

The regulatory body with oversight, the Agency for Health Care Administration, threatened in January to close more than 50 of the company’s 77 nursing homes throughout Florida. However, a settlement two months ago allowed those centers to keep their doors open, and only eight of those remain under tight state oversight. Only one remains in pending litigation with the regulator.  Continue reading →

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State investigators have cited a nursing home for neglect in two fatal fall cases that occurred at the Minnesota facility just five months apart – one attributed to a faulty mechanical lift and another to a negligent aide. nursing home injury

The Star Tribune reports the first incident involved a resident who fell while being assisted in the bathroom by a nurse’s aide who reportedly failed to use a gait belt (also known as a transfer belt) on her walker as she made her way to the bathroom. When the woman left the bathroom, she fell and struck her head on a wall, dying from brain hemorrhaging several days later.  The aide later explained she didn’t use the belt because she had forgotten it in another resident’s room. An investigation by the state concluded it was the aide’s fault for not properly using the equipment. She was disciplined with a five-day suspension from work and staffers were retrained on why using the gait belt is necessary.

Then a few months later, another resident suffered a fatal fall after slipping from a mechanical lift – one that nursing home staffers knew had a defective part. In that instance, the state did find the mechanical defect was the problem, but cited the nursing home anyway because there was evidence staffers were aware of those problems and used it anyway. The resident had been placed into the lift, but soon after fell onto the floor when one of the safety tabs popped off, resulting in the harness disengaging, dropping her. She suffered a broken leg, but died days later due to complications. An investigative report indicated the facility did not maintain the machine according to the instructions by the manufacturer. In fact, three of the four lifts in use at the facility reportedly had rubber safety tabs that often cracked or loosened, rendering the machines unsafe. The facility reportedly had no procedure through which to monitor this danger to residents. Continue reading →

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Nursing home residents suffer high rates of facial injuries, according to a recent study published in JAMA Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. In all, approximately 20,000 individuals residing in nursing homes throughout the U.S. have suffered what could be considered “serious facial injuries” at some point in the last 12 months. OLD FACE

Most of these injuries are incurred by falling and hitting hard surfaces. A substantial number also occur due to patients falling while getting in and out of bed.

Given that we already have 1.4 million people living in long-term nursing homes in the U.S. and that the population is aging, programs that focus on preventing fall-related injuries in nursing homes are going to be all the more important. This is especially true considering the severity these types of nursing home injuries can cause – including immense pain, long-term disability and hastened health decline leading to premature death. Continue reading →

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For more than a decade, the U.S. Supreme Court has adhered to the legal theory that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) preempts any state law on arbitration. olderwoman

There was a challenge, for example, in 2011 when the SCOTUS struck down the state law in California that held class-arbitration waivers were unconscionable. Then in 2015, the SCOTUS held that parties weren’t allowed to contract around the FAA’s preemption of class-arbitration waivers.

However, those earlier cases involved cell phone companies and cable providers. The case now before the SCOTUS is much different in that it involves arbitration agreements that bind nursing home residents. In Kindred Nursing Centers Limited Partnership v. Clark, Justice Samuel Alito commented during oral arguments that this is not like a dispute on a charge for cable services. It involves proper care of vulnerable and elderly residents.  Continue reading →

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A review article published recently in The New England Journal of Medicine reveals a deeply troubling statistic: 1 in every 10 older adults is a victim of some form of violence or abuse. walk

Worse, researchers point out, this figure is all but certainly a vast underestimate considering it’s based on self-reported cases. When you consider that many victims suffer from dementia or isolation that makes them prime targets to start, these individuals may not have the ability to report what’s happening to them.

Still, even this estimate underscores how widespread the problem is, and the fact that families must be on alert for potential problems.

Interestingly, although elder abuse has been in existed in some form since the dawn of humanity, it wasn’t described by Western researchers until the early 1970s. In most cases, attempts to define the problem or respond to it have largely been limited because most studies focused on a small number of anecdotes. Even those that attempted to broaden the understanding were mostly flawed epidemiologically. That has started to change in the last decade, and that’s how we have come to this greater understanding about how serious this problem actually is. Continue reading →

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