Articles Tagged with nursing home injury lawyer

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Medication errors occur far too frequently in a range of medical settings and nursing homes aren’t immune. A medication error can be any preventable event that results in inappropriate medication use or harm to patient while it’s being prescribed or administered to patient under a professional’s care.

Nursing home medication errors frequently have to do with patients receiving the wrong medication, inappropriate prescriptions (particularly of anti-psychotic medications), patients not receiving the proper dose of medications or medication doses being missed entirely.

Some of the underlying causes, as underlying by Michigan University Hospitals, includes problems with verbal orders, poor handwriting, improper selection of drugs, missed medications, incorrect scheduling, look-alike or sound-alike drugs, drug interactions, stressful work environment and a lack of computer support. Continue reading →

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U.S. government researchers have discovered elderly people – and nursing home residents in particular – are suffering alarming rates of concussions and brain injuries. 

Although the exact reason isn’t clear, some opine it has to do with the fact that those who are suffering repeated falls aren’t copping to it. Those who have suffered one fall are more likely to suffer another, and the odds are greater that the next fall will be more severe. But some elderly people may fear that admitting to a fall means they will lose their independence. In turn, they minimize it. Or, in the case of nursing home residents, the fall simply isn’t deemed serious enough for immediate medical attention.

However, what could appear to be a minor incident might actually be much more serious. It could be a concussion. It could even be a traumatic brain injury. In either case, the chances of another fall will be increased.  Continue reading →

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The children of the elderly woman pleaded with hospital staffers to save their mother, who was suffering from bedsores and pneumonia. The staffers had the resources. They had the tools and the equipment. What they didn’t have, they say, was permission. The woman had previously signed a do-not-resuscitate order. However, her children say the elderly woman lacked the mental capacity to sign such an order – something they tried in vain to argue with the staff as their mother was fighting for her life. She died in that hospital bed of her ailments in 2012. She was 67.

Now, Courtroom View Network is covering the developments of the civil lawsuit filed in Texas by her children who alleged medical malpractice against the hospital, the nursing home where she lived for years, the doctor for the nursing home and the physician’s assistant there. There were five opening statements from the defense side – one for each of the five defendants, who are individually represented.

Plaintiffs’ attorney posited to jurors during opening statements that decedent died of pneumonia which was the result of bedsores which were the direct result of nursing home negligence. Further, plaintiff lawyer accused the nursing home of wrongly allowing patient to sign a “do not resuscitate” (DNR) order, and also of allowing a neighbor to have medical power of attorney – even though at that time, she suffered signs of severe mental illness.  Continue reading →

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The family of a woman who died recently at a nursing home in New York after testing positive for Legionella now say they intend to sue the facility. 

The 86-year-old woman died in late October, just days after her son was told she had contracted the bacteria, which causes Legionnaires’ disease. At the time, the patient had reportedly been battling several bouts of what was though to be pneumonia. She was hospitalized several times, with the hospital finally releasing her back to the nursing home with regrets there was “nothing else they could do for her.”

Plaintiff, through his attorney, expressed outrage to staff writers at the Saratogian that so little attention is paid to this serious problem in nursing homes. If there were an outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease in schools or workplaces, there would be outrage. Instead, it seems nursing homes too often get a pass for failure to prevent the spread of infections disease and harmful bacteria. Too often, it probably goes unnoticed. But in this case, it was known and there were no repercussions, until plaintiff filed this lawsuit. There were four reported cases of the disease just at this one facility at the same time, including three patients and one staffer. The health department is conducting an investigation to determine the exact source of the outbreak.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, Legionella is a type of bacterium that lives in freshwater environments, such as lakes and streams. However, it can become a health concern when it grows and then spreads to human water systems, such as hot tubs, plumbing systems, hot water tanks/ heaters, cooling towers or decorative fountains. It grows the best in warm water. Contaminated water is breathed in through small droplets in the air. It can also sometimes be spread when contaminated drinking water “goes down the wrong pipe,” and makes its way to the lungs rather than the digestive track.  Continue reading →

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A widow is suing the nursing home where her husband, a patient, died last year after his clothes caught fire when he was smoking on the balcony, has filed a nursing home negligence lawsuit, alleging both the facility and the county are responsible for violating federal regulations, resulting in her husband’s death. 

Plaintiff’s attorney explained to the Philly Voice that decedent had been diagnosed with a number of diseases and ailments that necessitated assistance with many basic tasks. Yet, he was allowed to smoke unsupervised on the day of his death. Records show plaintiff was being treated for Parkinson’s disease, brain disease and bipolar disorder. He needed help to eat, dress and bathe. On the day of the fire, he was smoking a cigarette alone on a balcony at the facility, when his clothing caught fire. He was almost immediately engulfed in flames. He was seriously injured and died about a month later of those injuries, after enduring tremendous pain and suffering.

Smoking in nursing homes is a hot-button issue. Although cigarette smoking is becoming less prevalent in younger generations, thanks to education and awareness campaigns that accurately warn of the danger, older generations didn’t have that benefit – or often the same restrictions. Many long-time smokers may be in poor health, but they remain passionate about their right to smoke – and that doesn’t necessarily change just because they have entered a nursing home. Every center may have varying policies, but those that do allow smoking by residents have a duty not only to protect the smokers, but to balance those rights with the health and safety of other residents and staffers.  Continue reading →

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Workers at state-run nursing homes face a higher risk of on-the-job injuries than construction workers or those in manufacturing.

That’s based on the latest figures from the annual report issued by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on workplace illnesses and injuries. There were approximately 2.9 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses across the private sector last year and another 753,000 in the public sector, according to the Labor Department. On the whole, that works out to three injuries per 100 full-time workers in the private industry and 5.1 injuries per 100 full-time workers in state and local government. Meanwhile, when it comes to nursing home employees, those who work at state-run nursing homes and residential care facilities are injured at a rate of 12 per 100 full-time workers. This represents more than 13,700 cases of recorded injury or illness suffered by nursing home employees last year. That’s even more than local police, who suffered an injury rate of 11.3 per 100 workers. The Bureau of Labor pointed out also that these figures are actually low because these incidents are often unreported.

Work-related injuries among nursing home workers can have a direct impact on the quality of care that patients receive. First of all, a facility that is well-run prioritizes the safety of all who are present – including the employees, who are critical to the process. A facility that does not have or does not enforce worker safety guidelines is not likely to do so when it comes to patient safety either. Continue reading →

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The state attorney general in Pennsylvania has the right to pursue legal action against a number of nursing homes under consumer protection provisions for low staffing levels. 

Nursing homes targeted by the action had argued the attorney general couldn’t do this because:

  • Only the state Department of Health had the authority to investigate or pursue litigation regarding staffing levels;
  • Her office had hired a private law firm to conduct the investigation – a law firm that had contributed money to the attorney general’s campaign finances.

But now, a seven-judge panel has ruled in favor of Attorney General Kathleen Kane. The judges stated that while it was true the DOH has the authority to enforce regulations and set minimum standards for staffing levels at skilled nursing facilities, they weren’t the only agency with the authority to investigate. While the DOH may be concerned with such matters as it relates to the health, safety and adequacy of each facility, it has no authority or capacity to investigate or correct the consumer marketing or billing practices of these facilities. That is properly within the realm of the state attorney general.  Continue reading →

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Federal safety regulators have issued a reminder to the public regarding a previous recall of portable adult bed handles, which pose substantial risk of injury and death toward elderly and disabled individuals.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports at least four women have died using the L-shaped devices manufactured by Bed Handles Inc., a Missouri company. Some 113,000 of the devices were recalled back in May 2014 due to serious risk of entrapment, strangulation and death.

Three cases were reported in the initial reannouncement, and then a fourth was recently added to the figure.

However, there has been less than a 1 percent response rate for the recall, which is why the CPSC decided to reannounce the recall – to make sure word was getting to those who purchased any devices that may still be in use. These devices are used in care facilities to assist patients in pulling themselves up, helping themselves out of bed or keeping them from falling out. Continue reading →

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California’s largest nursing home has grown rapidly in recent years. Now, it’s descent seems equally meteoric.

According to media reports with the Sacramento Bee, the entrepreneur who launched the facility is facing not only civil lawsuits, but criminal charges in connection with the treatment of elderly and disabled patients in Southern California.

Just days after the family of one resident, now deceased, announced they were filing a lawsuit against the facility and the owner, the California attorney general announced she was filing criminal charges against the facility and two nurses in connection with a resident’s death.

The charge of involuntary manslaughter stems from the care given to a man who had burns over 90 percent of his body due to an arson fire decades before. The AG office doesn’t make mention of another case – of a mentally ill patient who committed suicide by lighting herself on fire  – though the woman’s family have since filed a formal wrongful death lawsuit. Continue reading →

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