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Chicago Nursing Home Dehydration Attorney

Dehydration of Nursing Home PatientNursing home abuse can be identified in numerous ways, including broken bones, abrasions, verbal mistreatment, and emotional assault on patients. News headlines rarely discuss the dehydration that nursing home residents suffer from the neglectful care within a skilled nursing facility.

Unfortunately, dehydration of Chicago nursing home patients is a common abusive behavior by the nursing team that occurs in long-term care facilities. Nursing home staff, as caregivers, must ensure the well-being of patients, including ensuring that residents receive sufficient fluid intake so they can achieve their optimum level of functioning.

Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC is committed to protecting the legal rights of Illinois nursing home patients who have injuries related to dehydration. Our Chicago nursing home abuse attorneys hold facilities fully accountable when a resident suffers injuries or complications associated with malnutrition and dehydration.

Contact our personal injury law firm (888) 424-5757 for a confidential free consultation of your nursing home dehydration case. We currently represent clients throughout Illinois, including the following localities: Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, Lake County, Will County, Chicago, Aurora, Naperville, Elgin, Joliet, LaSalle, Orland Park, Waukegan, and Berwyn.

The Importance of Properly Hydration for Nursing Home Patients

Every human being must maintain proper hydration for the functioning of body organs. Water is an essential element, and the body depends on the consumption of water for survival.

Cells, tissue, and organs require water to work together in the body. Without water, the human body would be unable to maintain body temperature properly or remove waste products. Proper nutrition also enables a person to have energy and mobility for daily living.

Nursing home patients have must maintain proper hydration. They may have severe medical conditions that cause the body to use up energy faster.

Elderly people also need proper hydration to maintain a robust immune system. The body is unable to fight off infections from the body without proper hydration. A lack of proper hydration can cause the development of life-threatening pressure ulcers or muscle weakness.

A Common Type of Neglect: Nursing Home Patients Suffering From Dehydration

Statistics revealed that over 10,000 nursing home residents died between 1999 and 2002 as a result of dehydration and malnutrition. Out of any given forty residents surveyed at a particular time, statistics further reveal that only one resident likely has proper hydration within a nursing home.

Caregiving facilities must take a more active approach to ensure that nursing home residents are always hydrated . The facility might need to hire additional staff workers to supervise and monitor nursing home residents throughout the day.

Many nursing homes have inadequate staffing levels, contributing to high neglect and abuse rates within nursing homes.

Under-Staffing and Resident Dehydration Rates in Chicago Nursing Homes

Nursing home staff may feel overwhelmed or too busy to Monitor patients throughout the day. Staff is often overworked with too many patients under their care. Staff members might in charge of duties outside of their job description, including social activities.

Being overworked during their scheduled time could impede the actual care that is provided to nursing home residents. Additionally, nursing home administrators might fail to create specialized care plans for residents.

Those in charge might fail to ensure that the special diet needs of a patient are being met. Some patients often require more liquids than others, but a nursing home may not discover this need without an assessment or if no particular care plan is created.

Nursing Home Dehydration Injury FAQs

Medically, dehydration is defined as too little water to ensure the body can function. Dehydration in nursing facilities is often the result of not drinking enough water to sustained body functions. The most common nursing home dehydration frequently asked questions include:

What is an Early Sign of Dehydration and the Elderly?

Before recognizing any the early warning signs that the patient is dehydrated, caregivers, family members, and friends should encourage the elderly to consume water, juice, milk, or other liquid at every meal. Consider keeping their favored beverages close by and look for any warning signs including dizziness, dark urine, thirst, fatigue, dry mouth, dry nose, cramping, dry skin, or headaches that could be a sign of dehydration.

What are the Nursing Interventions for Dehydration?

Caregivers, family, and friends should ensure that the patient has extra fluids at mealtime, including suit, juice, sherbet, ice cream, gelatin, and water on their meal tray. Additionally, served beverages, including juice and water at every activity.

The resident should drink at least 100 mL of water or liquids when taking their medications. Each staff member should encourage the consumption of at least 60 mL of fluid every time they enter the resident's room to provide care or monitoring unless the patient is on a liquid-restrictive diet.

How do You Re-hydrate a Dehydrated Person?

Any diagnosis of dehydration needs immediate attention. The patient's body must be replenished with sufficient fluids that could be water, popsicles, clear broth, or sports drinks.

Severely dehydrated patients will require intravenous fluids to ensure they have adequate hydration before the body's organs stop functioning.

What are the 5 Symptoms of Dehydration?

There are specific signs that can show an elderly person is suffering from dehydration. Nursing home workers must be trained so that they can notice when a patient may be suffering from dehydration. The top five symptoms include dry mouth, dark urine, thirst, headache, and dry, cool skin.

Other crucial signs of dehydration include:

  • Dizziness or fatigue
  • Cracked skin
  • Flushed skin
  • Bone fractures
  • Requests for more liquids
  • Loss of appetite
  • Chills

Nursing home workers that notice any signs of dehydration must provide immediate liquids. Family members should also pay attention to any signs that a loved one is dehydrated.

Any detection of a lack of fluids should be followed by reporting concerns to a nursing home administrator and the Director of Nursing. Unfortunately, many facilities fail to monitor residents sufficiently due to understaffing. Some medication errors can cause severe health problems, especially if the resident is taking blood pressure drugs.

What Hydrates are Better Than Water?

Research shows that milk is significantly more hydrating than other liquids, including plain water and sugar-free drinks, because of the sugar lactose contents. Any liquids with some fat in some protein can slow the process of emptying fluid from the stomach, encouraging hydration over more extended periods.

How Does the Hospital Check for Dehydration?

Doctors working in the hospital and emergency room will confirm a diagnosis of dehydration by performing blood tests to check for potassium and sodium levels. Urinalysis test results identify how well the functions kidneys are functioning and can quickly identify a bladder infection.

Sample Illinois Nursing Home Awards for Dehydration Lawsuits

$950,000 Settlement; Dehydration Death; Chicago, Illinois (Cook County)

The 79-year-old elderly resident entered a Chicago nursing facility for assistance with her mental and physical disabilities. Doctors deemed her a risk for falls, bedsores, and dehydration.

Eventually, a Stage I pressure sore developed along her spine in the coccyx region that eventually degraded to a life-threatening Stage IV decubitus ulcer. Both malnutrition and dehydration exacerbated her condition, which developed into deteriorating sepsis (bloodstream infection).

The female resident died about five months after her initial bedsore diagnosis. Officials deemed that her death was contributed to the decubitus ulcer (bedsore), dehydration, and other health conditions.

The decedent surviving family members brought an Illinois wrongful death claim against the facility. The plaintiffs alleged that nursing home neglect and medical malpractice caused their mother's bedsores, dehydration, and other health problems that led to her death. Her three children (plaintiffs) sought compensation for their mother's pain, passing, medical costs, and funeral expenses. The plaintiffs agreed to $950,000 in settlement compensation.

$625,000 Settlement; Dehydration Death; Chicago, Illinois (Cook County)

An eighty-year-old Illinois nursing home resident was it heightened risk for developing severe health issues due to her age and health, including nursing home malnutrition and dehydration. Sadly, the staff members failed to provide proper care of providing the woman with quality food and liquids that could have prevented some of her health issues.

Nurses and nursing assistants never supervised her eating or drinking or helped her during mealtime. Her health condition declined quickly due to dehydration, malnutrition, and hypernatremia. Home staff transferred her to the hospital when they could no longer take care of her.

Hospital professionals diagnosed her with sepsis just before her death. The woman's surviving children filed a lawsuit against the facilities and nursing staff who cared for her. As plaintiffs, the adult children sought compensation for the damages that the defendants' conduct caused.

The plaintiffs sought compensation for the pain their mother suffered before passing, per wrongful death, the costs this all incurred, including hospital expenses, medical bills, funeral expenses, and the needless sense of loss the family feels. The plaintiffs and defendants agreed to a negotiated $625,000 out-of-court private settlement.

$861,725 Settlement; Dehydration Death; Chicago, Illinois (Cook County)

A female in her mid-thirties was admitted to a nursing facility due to several mental health issues, including depression and schizophrenia. Her conditions affected her ability to swallow and eat properly.

The nursing staff at the Chicago facility neglected her needs and abused her emotionally, physically, and sexually. As a result of her lack of treatment, she developed bedsores, problems with dehydration, and weight loss.

In time, her bedsores became infected and progressed to osteomyelitis. Not long after, she succumbed to her medical complications at the age of thirty-four years. Her surviving parents and three sisters filed a civil lawsuit against the facility under the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act, citing terrible treatment.

The lawsuit alleges she was forced to endure elder abuse, neglect, and untimely death. The defendant (nursing home) and plaintiffs (parents and sisters) agreed to a negotiated $861,725 out-of-court settlement.

$500,000 Settlement; Dehydration Death; Chicago, Illinois (Cook County)

An elderly Illinois nursing home resident was often neglected during her stay at the care facility before her untimely death at seventy-four years old. A lack of care at the facility led to the development of bedsores, dehydration-related, and osteomyelitis (bone infection).

The victim's estate attorneys investigated the case and determined that the facility's deficient care led to the woman's death. The attorneys filed a civil lawsuit claiming nursing home negligence and wrongful death, seeking compensation for pain, costs, and loss.

The plaintiffs (the woman's estate) and the defendant (nursing facility) agreed on a negotiated $500,000 out-of-court settlement.

Hiring Chicago Nursing Home Dehydration Lawyers

Has your loved one suffered from injuries or died from dehydration? If so, the Chicago nursing home abuse attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC are available for a free consultation to discuss the merits of your compensation case. Our experienced Illinois neglect lawyers can investigate the circumstances that may have led to the dehydration or death of your loved one.

If our nursing home abuse lawyers determine that caregivers contributed to your loved one's condition, we file and resolve a lawsuit against the facility on your behalf. Call our law offices today at 888-424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or the contact form to learn about your legal options.

All discussions with our Chicago nursing home abuse lawyers remain confidential through an attorney-client relationship. Please don't reveal sensitive information with our law office in a voicemail, text message, contact form.

Our legal team is still resolving compensation cases during the COVID-19 crisis to provide immediate legal representation and defend your rights for justice.

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Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial. Lisa