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Articles Tagged with nursing home abuse in chicago

Whether the doctor who gives a second opinion calls them bed sores, pressures sores, decubitus ulcers or pressure ulcers, this painful condition is often a sign of nursing home neglect. When somebody – for example, a bedridden patient in a nursing home — lies too long in the same position, the pressure in areas of contact can restrict or eliminate blood flow. This leaves the skin in that area irritated and open to infection. Left untreated, open sores develop as the tissue begins to die without blood.

Responsible facilities observe professional practices for the prevention and early treatment of bed sores in nursing home cases. These include:

  • Changing patient position frequently and regularly, to prevent the pressure sores from forming.
  • Avoid the use of physical or chemical restraints when possible, to minimize time spent in one position.
  • Daily skin assessments by staff trained to spot early warning signs of decubitus ulcers.
  • Use of the Braden Scale, or a similar professional metric, to assess the risk an individual has of developing pressure ulcers.
  • Proper handling of patients while moving or exercising a patient, or performing physical therapy.

When nursing homes fail to carry out these precautions, areas of red and irritated skin form at the areas of restricted blood flow. This can lead to blisters, open sores, oozing wounds, bleeding, deep-tissue infection and complications including sepsis and gangrene. Because of the medical fragility of those at the greatest risk of pressure ulcers, these complications can – and often do – become fatal.

Bed sore death is entirely preventable, but common enough that it is a commonly recognized sign of nursing home neglect. Families who have lost a loved one due to pressure sore complications, or seen that patient suffer pain from decubitus ulcer symptoms, have the right to file a bed sore lawsuit and hold the facility responsible for their neglect.

Both are signs that adequate sustenance isn’t being provided, or that staff isn’t making certain a patient is eating and drinking enough to be healthy. Like bedsores, this condition is 100 percent preventable with adequate staffing and care.

In Chicago, nursing home abuse is about as common as the nation as a whole. Filing a lawsuit against neglectful or abusive care facilities is one of the most effective ways to hold abusers accountable for their actions.

Nursing home negligence and abuse affect 30 percent of care facilities nationwide, and cause as many as 5,000 deaths annually. Although this means the statistics favor appropriate care, the pain of abuse is very real for its victims.

Abuse and neglect happen for a variety of reasons. Some are the fault of a facility, while others have an individual staffer to blame. Regardless of why it happens, it’s important to stay vigilant for signs that your family might be suffering abuse or neglect.

1. Inadequate Background Checks

Studies have found that 92 percent of nursing homes employ at least one convicted criminal. Ask management about their backgrounding process. If they can’t discuss it in depth, their background methods may be insufficient.

2. Personality Changes

Although some personality changes are expected in cases like dementia or Alzheimer’s, sudden changes often point to more dangerous causes.

3. Unusual/Inconsistent Diagnosis

If staff reports behavior or other problems your family has never observed, this might be a sign of worsening condition – or an attempt to justify overbilling or use of restraint.

4. Changes in Weight

Rapid weight loss or weight gain often indicates a change in food or medication regimens. Unless you were notified, this can point to neglectful or abusive treatment.

5. Bedsores

These seemingly minor injuries are a tell-tale sign of nursing home staff not doing their jobs. Proper staffing and attention can almost always prevent them.

6. Injuries

As bodies become older, they get more susceptible to injury – but read injury reports carefully for signs of improper care or outright violence. Be especially suspicious of injuries suffered after an elopement or other behavior problem.

7. Dehydration and Malnutrition

Both are signs that adequate sustenance isn’t being provided, or that staff isn’t making certain a patient is eating and drinking enough to be healthy. Like bedsores, this condition is 100 percent preventable with adequate staffing and care.

In Chicago, nursing home abuse is about as common as the nation as a whole. Filing a lawsuit against neglectful or abusive care facilities is one of the most effective ways to hold abusers accountable for their actions.