Last year, a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences provided some surprising results. In excess of 50% of all Americans will, at some point, need nursing home care, according to the study. The number was well above the 35% previously cited by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Few decisions are more challenging, and more important, than placing a loved one in a nursing home. You are entrusting the facility with one of the most important people in your life. You expect, and you should expect, that your loved one will receive proper care. When a facility fails to deliver on that promise, it may be necessary to take legal action. If that happens, be sure to reach out right away to a Chicago nursing home negligence attorney experienced in these cases.
Every three months, the Illinois Department of Public Health publishes a Quarterly Report of Nursing Home Violators. These reports illustrate real-life examples of many of the ways in which a nursing home can fail its patients and fall short of delivering appropriate care. The most recent report, which covered the second quarter (April-June) of 2018, unfortunately showed an increase in the number of violations.
The state divides violations into categories based on the severity of their effects. Type AA violations are ones that “proximately caused” a resident’s death. Type A violations are ones from which “there is a substantial probability that death or serious mental or physical harm will result, or has resulted.” Type B violations are the least severe of the three.
In the second quarter, three type AA violations took place. One occurred at a facility in the small western Illinois town of Aledo. In that case, the staff failed to follow the instructions contained in the patient’s advance directive document (sometimes known as a “living will”). Even though the patient’s document said that the patient desired to receive CPR, the staff did not perform CPR when the patient needed it. The patient died at the facility.
In a second case, this one at a facility in Lincoln, the patient was a 64-year-old with asthma. The resident’s chart indicated that she should receive prompt treatment of any lung issue and regular delivery of her treatment. Starting on the night of Feb. 2, the resident began complaining of shortness of breath. The doctor ordered Albuterol nebulizer treatment. However, over the next few days, the resident missed several treatments that she should have received. A nurse aide found the woman unresponsive on the night of Feb. 5. She died on Feb. 9 as a result of pneumonia.
In the third AA violation, the facility failed to make sure that a mechanical lift sling was safe for use. This resulted in one resident falling not once but twice, with the second fall causing a brain bleed. The patient was eventually hospitalized and died.
These are just a few (and among the most extreme) examples of missteps by nursing home staff. Nevertheless, they illustrate the unfortunate fact that, in too many instances, employees and medical providers at nursing homes fail to meet the appropriate standard of care. When that happens, and your loved one is hurt, it is time to take quick action. Talk to the experienced Chicago nursing home negligence attorneys at Katz, Friedman, Eagle, Eisenstein, Johnson & Bareck. Our attorneys have helped many families harmed by others’ negligence, including those affected by nursing home negligence. To set up a free case evaluation and learn how we can put our experience and skill to work for you, contact us at 800-444-1525 or through our website.
More Blog Posts:
Chicago North Shore Nursing Home Faces Wrongful Death Lawsuit for OD’ing Patient on His Own Meds, Chicago Injury Attorneys Blog, Jan. 6, 2017
Tips on protecting yourself against medical errors, Chicago Injury Attorneys Blog, Sept. 24, 2014