Nursing home mistreatment and negligence are, unfortunately, common occurrences. Many nursing home staff members are underpaid and overworked, leading to a lack of staff training and a general lack of concern for the residents.

Many caregiving homes are underfunded and poorly managed, leading to overcrowding, inadequate staffing, and a lack of necessary medical supplies and equipment. The residents are elderly and vulnerable and might be unable to advocate for themselves or speak up when they experience abuse or neglect.

Do you suspect that abuse and neglect led to your loved one’s injuries or death while residing at Oak Lawn Respiratory Rehab? The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC can legally advocate holding those responsible financially accountable on your family’s behalf.

Contact our nursing home abuse lawyers at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form to schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.

Oak Lawn Respiratory Rehab

This Oak Lawn facility is a 143-certified bed Medicare and Medicaid-approved for-profit nursing home (not a continuing care retirement community) providing care to Cook County residents. Oak Lawn Respiratory Rehab is located at:

9525 South Mayfield
Oak Lawn, IL 60453
(708) 636-7000

Oak Lawn Respiratory Rehab provides care, services, and amenities, including:

  • ADL (Activities of Daily Living) Retraining
  • Antibiotic Therapy
  • Cardiac Diets
  • Comprehensive Wound Care
  • Diabetic Diets
  • Expressive Language
  • Hospice & Palliative Care
  • Hydration Therapy
  • IV Therapy
  • Laboratory Services
  • Memory Care
  • Nutritional Care snd Services
  • Oxygen Therapy and Monitoring
  • Physical Therapy
  • PICC Lines & MID Lines
  • Podiatry & Dental Care
  • Postural Control
  • Renal Diets
  • Respiratory Treatments
  • Restorative Therapy
  • Skills Remediation
  • Speech Therapy
  • Stroke Rehabilitation
  • Swallowing Therapy
  • Tracheostomy Care
  • Tube Feedings

Oak Lawn Respiratory Rehab Nursing Home Resident Safety Concerns

Through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the federal government routinely updates inspection and surveyor reports on all assisted living facilities in the United States. This data identifies how each facility failed to provide quality care and lists all violations, fines, safety inspections, penalties, and deficiencies.

Many families use this information to determine which Illinois nursing home facilities in the local community provide the highest level of care for their loved ones in need.

Currently, Oak Lawn Respiratory Rehab nursing home maintains two out of five stars overall rating compared to all other disabled and elderly care facilities nationwide. There Medicare star rating is based on:

  • Three out of five stars for health inspection problems
  • One out of five stars for staffing issues
  • Four out of five stars for quality measures

The Cook County personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC have reviewed years of surveys, investigations, inspections, and documents concerning Oak Lawn Respiratory Rehab and have found serious concerns, including:

Failure to Allow Residents to Self-Administer Drugs if Determined Clinically Appropriate – Deficiency #F0554

In a summary statement of deficiencies dated October 8, 2020, the state inspectors determined that Oak Lawn Respiratory Rehab failed to “follow their Policy and Procedures for self-administration of medication” involving one resident.

The state investigator observed a Pro Air Inhaler over a resident’s bed table. The resident stated that they use the inhaler. However, a licensed nurse said the resident did not have an order for the medication.

The facility’s Director of Nursing said, “nurses are supposed to administer medication. Before a resident can self-administer medications, they should have a self-administration medication assessment, a doctor’s order, and care planned for self-administration medication.”

Failure to Provide Every Resident an Environment Free of Accident Hazards and Provide Adequate Supervision to Prevent Avoidable Accidents – Deficiency #F689

In a summary statement of deficiencies dated October 8, 2020, the state inspectors determined that Oak Lawn Respiratory Rehab nursing home failed to provide adequate supervision during meal service “for one resident who is on aspiration precaution.”

The investigation involved a resident diagnosed with oropharyngeal phase, dysphagia, and other medical conditions who was “observed eating by himself in his room.” There was puréed food on his plate, and no staff was observed inside the nursing home resident’s room to assess, as required.

Failure to Provide Appropriate Pressure Ulcer Care Prevent New Ulcers from Developing – Deficiency #F686

In a summary statement of deficiencies dated December 3, 2021, the state inspectors determined that Oak Lawn Respiratory Rehab failed to “to prevent a resident, with a high risk for pressure injury, from developing a pressure injury and not identifying the injury until it was a stage II injury.”

A review of the nursing home resident’s admittance records revealed that the male resident arrived at the facility “with no skin issues” but developed a wound on his back “just two weeks after being in the facility.”

The Oak Lawn Respiratory Director of Nursing said the resident’s “skin is to be assessed weekly and as needed to ensure any skin change was noted as soon as possible.”

Failure to Follow Skin Care Protocols Leading to a Sacral Pressure Ulcer

In a separate summary statement of deficiencies dated October 8, 2020, the state inspectors determined that Oak Lawn Respiratory Rehab failed to “provide wound care treatments daily as ordered, failed to notify the wound care physician when treatments were not performed as ordered and failed to document [that wound care treatments were performed] daily, which affected one resident.”

State investigators determined that these nursing home failures “contributed to the deterioration of the resident’s sacral wound.”

Failure to Provide Pharmaceutical Services to Meet the Needs of Each Resident and Employ or Obtain the Services of a Licensed Pharmacist – Deficiency #F0755

In a summary statement of deficiencies dated April 5, 2018, the state inspectors reviewed the Oak Lawn Respiratory Rehab Shift Change Accountability Record for Controlled Medication sheets for two months. The nursing home medication cart contained narcotics, reviewed by the first-floor licensed practical nurse. However, the sheets contained missing nurse signatures for 15 days, violating state and federal law.

The nursing home facility’s Director of Nursing stated that “nurses are expected to count & narcotics each shift. All residents affected by the deficiency were administered controlled substances.

The Dangers of Pressure Ulcers in Nursing Homes

Pressure ulcers are a severe medical condition that can occur in anyone but is especially common in short-term and long-stay residents. These sores form when there is prolonged pressure on one area of the body.

The sores can occur anywhere on the body, but some common locations include the elbow, heel/foot, hip, and shoulder blades. If not treated correctly, pressure wounds can lead to serious health complications.

How Pressure Ulcers Form

Pressure sores form when prolonged pressure is on one body area. Bedsores also develop from lying in bed for extended periods, sitting in a wheelchair, or any other activity that causes sustained pressure on one body area.

When this happens, the blood flow to that area is cut off, and tissue damage begins. This damage can range from redness and irritation to open wounds with flesh exposed.

The Danger of Pressure Ulcers

Pressure wounds can be extremely dangerous if not treated correctly. Pressure wounds can lead to bone and joint infections and even death if left untreated. That’s why it’s so important for nursing home staff to regularly check residents for pressure sores and take steps to prevent them from forming in the first place.

Pressure wounds are a severe medical condition that can occur in anyone but is especially common in nursing home residents. If not treated correctly, pressure wounds can lead to serious health complications, including infection, amputations, bone and joint infections, and even death.

Because pressure sores can develop so quickly is why it’s so important for nursing home staff to regularly check long-term and short-stay residents for decubitus ulcers and take steps to prevent them from forming in the first place. Applying appropriate pressure ulcer care during the initial stage can prevent life-threatening medical problems.

If you or a loved one have developed a pressure ulcer while living in a nursing home, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced attorney who can help you get the compensation you deserve.

Consequences of Dehydration and Malnutrition in Nursing Homes – What You Need to Know

Dehydration and malnutrition are serious problems in nursing home facilities nationwide.

Dehydration is a condition that occurs when the body does not have enough fluids. When people are dehydrated, their bodies cannot function properly. For these reasons, nursing home residents need to stay hydrated.

Dehydration can cause a wide range of problems:

  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Confusion
  • Organ Failure
  • The difficulty for people to recover from illnesses and injuries
  • Death

Sadly, many nursing home residents do not get the fluids they need. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that nursing home residents are at a higher risk for dehydration than those living in other settings. There are several reasons for this:

  • Their bodies are not as efficient at regulating fluid levels.
  • Many medications that elderly people take can cause dehydration.
  • Nursing facilities do not have adequate staffing levels to ensure that residents are getting enough fluids.

Malnutrition is another serious problem in nursing home facilities. Malnutrition occurs when people do not get the nutrients they need from their food. Like dehydration, malnutrition it is extremely important for nursing home residents to eat nutritious meals, and can cause a wide range of problems, including:

  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Organ failure
  • Difficulty for people to heal from illnesses and injuries

Unfortunately, many nursing home residents do not get the nutritious meals they need. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that one in three nursing home residents is malnourished. There are several reasons for this:

  • As people age, they often lose their appetites and need less food than they did when they were younger.
  • Many medications that elderly people take can cause nausea or loss of appetite.
  • Many nursing home facilities do not have adequate staffing levels to ensure that residents get enough to eat.

If you have a loved one in a nursing home, it is important to know the risks of dehydration and malnutrition. Be sure to ask the staff about what they are doing to prevent these problems and what you can do to help your loved one stay hydrated and well-nourished.

Nurses Must Provide Appropriate Care to Prevent Urinary Tract Infections

Every licensed/registered nurse and nurse aide must follow established protocols to prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs) before they happen. UTIs are among the most common nosocomial infections and can cause serious morbidity and mortality if left untreated.

Urinary tract infections are caused by bacteria that enter the urinary tract and multiply. The most common type of bacteria that causes UTIs is Escherichia coli (E. coli).

UTIs can occur in any part of the urinary tract, including the bladder, kidney, urethra, or ureters. Symptoms of a UTI include cloudy or bloody urine, strong-smelling urine, a burning sensation when urinating, and pelvic pain. If left untreated, UTIs can lead to sepsis, which is a life-threatening condition.

Nurses can play a major role in preventing UTIs by following some simple best practices following currently accepted professional principles. Common problems and failures leading to a urinary tract infection include:

  • Failure to provide appropriate catheter care can lead to UTIs, causing bacteria to enter the bladder.
  • Leaving a catheter in for an extended period of time can also lead to UTIs by providing a breeding ground for bacteria.
  • Failing to change the catheter when wet or soiled can also lead to urinary tract infections.
  • Not cleaning the area around the catheter insertion site can lead to UTIs.
  • Not providing adequate hydration can also lead to urinary tract infections by causing the urine to become more concentrated and increasing the risk of bacteria growth.
  • Allowing urine to pool in the bladder can also lead to UTIs by providing a breeding ground for bacteria.
  • Using unclean equipment when inserting or removing a catheter can lead to UTIs.
  • Not monitoring patients for symptoms of a urinary tract infection can also lead to missed diagnoses and delayed treatment.
  • Ignoring changes in a patient’s vital signs that could indicate a UTI can lead to delayed treatment.
  • Failing to cultures urine specimens for bacteria can also lead to missed diagnoses.
  • Treating a UTI without confirming the diagnosis with a lab test can lead to ineffective treatment and the spread of infection.
  • Failing to keep patients adequately hydrated during treatment can also lead to an increased risk of relapse and recurrence of UTIs.
  • Failing to provide follow-up care after appropriate treatment of a UTI can also lead to an increased risk of relapse and recurrence of UTIs.
  • Allowing patients who have had a UTI to return to bedpan use before completing their course of antibiotics can also lead to an increased risk of recurrence.

Urinary tract infections are serious. But every licensed/registered nurse can help prevent them before they happen. By promoting good hygiene habits and providing education on how to properly empty the bladder, you can make a big difference in the patient’s health—and potentially save lives.

Why the Nursing Home Must Implement an Infection Prevention and Control Program

The elderly and those with chronic illnesses are at a higher risk for developing infections, which are often life-threatening. Nursing homes must implement a robust infection prevention and control (IPC) program to avoid problems that could lead to major injury.

An infection prevention and control (IPC) program should be designed to identify, prevent, and control the spread of infections. They typically include hand-washing, using personal protective equipment, properly disposing of contaminated materials, and maintaining clean facilities.

IPC programs also involve educating staff and residents about preventing the spread of infections.

Nursing Homes are a High-Risk Environment for Infections

There are many reasons why nursing homes are more susceptible to outbreaks of infection than other types of healthcare facilities, including:

  • Nursing home residents are often elderly or have chronic health conditions that make them more vulnerable to infections.
  • Nursing facilities typically have a high staff-to-resident ratio, making it difficult to provide adequate care and oversight.
  • Nursing homes may not always have the same access to resources as other healthcare facilities.

The Consequences of Infections in Nursing Homes

Infections can have serious consequences for nursing home residents. Elderly people or those with chronic illnesses may experience a decline in their overall health if they develop an infection. In some cases, infections can lead to death.

In addition, infection outbreaks can cause widespread panic and disrupt the operations of a nursing home.

How to Implement an Infection Prevention and Control Program in a Nursing Home

Every family member concerned about how the facility manages infections should ask for information about their Infection Prevention and Control Program. The policy should outline the nursing home’s procedures that should include:

  • Educate staff and residents about IPC measures.
  • Encourage hand-washing and the use of personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Maintain clean facilities and properly dispose of contaminated materials.
  • Follow national and state guidelines and professional standards for infection prevention and control.
  • Implement a system to track infections and outbreaks.

Preventing Accident Hazards: How the Nursing Home Should Manage Antipsychotic Medication and other Controlled Drugs

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, antipsychotic medications are the most commonly prescribed class of medications for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Despite their widespread use, these drugs can have serious side effects, including an increased risk of falls.

Research has shown that people taking antipsychotic medications for depressive symptoms are two to three times more likely to suffer a fall than those not.

Administering Controlled Drugs Using Professional Standards

Doctors must follow currently accepted professional principles when prescribing any psychotropic, antianxiety, or hypnotic medication for short-term and long-stay residents. The ordering practitioner, nurses, and nurse aides must follow professional standards administering the drug to ensure there is a valid medical reason to use antipsychotic medication.

Controlled medicine is any substance that has the potential to be abused or misused. These prescription drugs include antipsychotics and over-the-counter medications like painkillers and cold medicines. Because of their potential for abuse, nursing home staff members must carefully monitor and manage these drugs.

Every Appropriate Treatment and Medical Reason Must Be Documented to Prevent Accidents

All controlled meds should be stored in separately locked compartments to ensure that drugs remain safe from unauthorized use. Only authorized staff members should have access to the keys or combination to these cabinets or safes.

The quantity of each controlled drug should be carefully documented, and any discrepancies should be immediately investigated. Staff members should document the resident’s name, date and time, and quantity when controlled drugs are dispensed to residents.

Finally, all unused or expired controlled medications should be disposed of properly to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands.

Hire Personal Injury Attorneys to Hold the Nursing Home Accountable

Was your loved one neglected and abused while residing in Oak Lawn Respiratory Rehabilitation Center or any other nursing home in Illinois? The nursing home abuse attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers can help.

Victims and families can contact us at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form to schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.

Our legal team accepts all personal injury cases and wrongful death lawsuits on a contingency fee basis. This agreement ensures that you will pay no upfront fees until we resolve your claim through a negotiated settlement or jury award.


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