It is the responsibility of nursing care facilities to design a plan of care that attends to the individual needs of each patient. The failure to properly monitor the blood glucose levels of diabetic patients can have catastrophic consequences that may result in severe injury, coma or death.
If a diabetic patient fails to receive proper monitoring or care, the nursing facility may be held liable for negligence or medical malpractice if the negligent care results in complications and undue pain and suffering. Our Chicago nursing home abuse team is committed to ensuring that nursing home patients receive the care that they deserve by holding facilities accountable for their misdeeds-- including complications related to a facilities failure to monitor and attend to the needs of a diabetic patient.
Diabetes is the inability of the body to process sugar in an efficient manner, resulting in hyperglycemia— or high blood glucose levels. Insulin is required for the use of glucose by the body’s cells and diabetics are unable to produce sufficient levels of insulin or have become resistant to the insulin that is being produced. This results in elevated blood glucose levels; which are the cause of many conditions and complications such as nerve damage, heart disease, mood changes, dizziness and loss of cognitive function.
Medications that treat diabetes work by lowering the body’s resistance to insulin or helping the body produce the insulin that it needs. Patients who are unable to produce any insulin at all may need to take insulin injections or use an insulin pump that maintains steady levels of insulin in the blood. On occasion, these medications may lower a diabetic’s blood glucose levels too much, resulting in hypoglycemia— or low blood sugar. Having low blood sugar can result in severe medical complications as well which include coma or death.
Blood Sugar Monitoring Required By Nursing Homes
In order to maintain a healthy blood glucose level, diabetics must be monitored on a regular basis to ensure that their blood glucose levels are balanced properly. Blood glucose testing is a simple procedure that requires a single drop of blood and a test meter that is simple to use. There is absolutely no excuse for the failure of nursing care staff to properly monitor a patient’s blood sugar levels. The consequences of unregulated blood sugar, however, can be catastrophic.
Complications Due to Unregulated Blood Sugar
The symptoms and conditions caused by blood sugar irregularities can be as minor as a headache and lightheadedness or as severe as advanced nerve, kidney, liver or heart damage. The following symptoms and conditions may result from unmonitored glucose levels.
- Confusion, lightheadedness or dizziness.
- Loss of consciousness.
- Hypoglycemia / Hyperglycemia
- Severe fatigue and tiredness.
- Sudden change in mood or irritability.
- Damage to the liver, kidneys or heart.
- Ulcers in the extremities— most commonly the feet.
- Nerve and tissue damage.
- Severe infections.
Nursing Home Diabetes Claims and Awards
$552,000 Illinois Verdict; Diabetic Nursing Home Accident
The nursing home resident caught up in this accident lived in a facility in Illinois. He had diabetes, congestive heart problems, and Inclusion-Body Myositis or IBM as it is commonly called. IBM made it difficult to walk around the nursing home by himself. His knees buckles and fell down quite often. One day, staff were attempting to help him rehab. They were doing therapeutic exercises. During one of them, he tumbled over and broke his ankle. He needed to be transferred to a local hospital for care. That experience alone cost him over $100,000 in medical bills. To makeup for this as well as the pain and suffering it caused, he sued. He argued that the defendant facility was negligent in it is supervision and care of him. He further stated that a reasonable party would have hired, trained, and equipped its staff to better help him. For these damages, he sought compensation for all of the harms he suffered. The defendant replied that it acted in accordance with all reasonable expectations. It blamed the incident on the man's underlying condition. In the end, that was not enough to convince a jury. The plaintiff obtained $552,000 in damages for disability ($125,000), suffering ($300,000), and medical bills ($127,000).
$2,000,000 Illinois Settlement; Diabetic Nursing Home Case
This tragic incident involved a man in his fifties who suffered from diabetes, renal failure, and other major health problems. He was moved into nursing care facility because of these issues. The man required constant care and supervision. He did not receive that at this Illinois nursing home. Instead, staff left him unattended as deep vein thrombosis set in and imperiled his life. Eventually, it got worse and an embolism formed. That would be the thing that caused his death. This event was so tragic because he was preparing to return home to his family. He had a wife and three kids. They brought a wrongful death suit on his behalf as well as theirs. They complained in their lawsuit that the facility was negligent in its service to the man. Also, with proper care, they offered that the thrombosis and subsequent embolism would not have formed. Then, he would have lived. They sought compensation for the pain of his loss, the man's pain while living, and the related financial and emotional harms that it all caused him. In a private, negotiated settlement, the family obtained $2 million in settlement compensation.
$450,000 Illinois Settlement; Diabetic Nursing Home Accident
The plaintiff that filed this lawsuit against an Illinois nursing home was seventy-six. She suffered from diabetes and could not walk around the facility by herself because half of her body was paralyzed. One day staff tried to get her up. As they did this, they accidentally dropped her. She fell to the ground and broke her ankle. Due to her poor health, the injury developed into gangrene. Doctors had to perform a below-the-knee amputation in order to stave off further complications. The woman sued the Illinois nursing home after these events. She argued it was negligent and should have taken care of her better. Since they did not, she was injured and suffered physical injuries, mental and emotional injuries, financial losses, and other damages. The defendant nursing home replied that this accident could have happened at any time. They pointed to the woman's frail age and illness as the real source of her problems. However, they dodged on the central issue of the lawsuit: the fall which caused her broken bone. Eventually, they realized that they could not explain away this incident and pin it on her. They decided to settle the matter rather than risk a large jury award. She received $450,000 for her pain, suffering, and other harms.
$250,000 Illinois Settlement; Diabetic Nursing Home Accident
The resident in this controversy was over eighty. She had diabetes. She also had terminal cancer and was suffering from the effects of a recent amputation. When she arrived at the Illinois nursing home, doctors thought that she did not have much time to live. They estimated it would be only a matter of weeks. The nursing staff need to move her around the facility on a day-to-day basis because she could not do it herself. On one particular occasion. they dropped her. This caused a rapid deceleration in her health. She died the following day. She was survived by one child. That child was already grown up. He decided to sue the Illinois nursing home. He argued that despite her age and infirmities she was still entitled to better care than what she received. Instead, staff negligently transferred her and caused her to fall down and injure herself. This lowered her quality of life; quickened her death; and caused increased expenses. For these and similar damages, the defendant nursing home offered to settle and they mutually agreed to end the matter for a reported $250,000.
Get Legal Assistance From Attorneys Who Appreciate Complications Associated With Diabetic Nursing Home Patients
If your loved one suffered an injury because of the failure of nursing care staff to properly monitor his or her blood glucose levels, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC today to schedule a risk free consultation with an experienced Chicago, IL nursing home abuse attorney to learn more about your rights and to evaluate the details of your diabetes complication case involving nursing home. If we are unable to assist you or earn compensation on your behalf, our services and advice will be free of charge.