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Articles Posted in Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect

nursing home negligence lawsuitsInfections are one of the leading causes of death in nursing homes throughout the country. Unfortunately, many of these deaths are avoidable and preventable. However, when nursing homes are inattentive to the conditions that give rise to infections and then leave the infections untreated, nursing home residents are at risk.

Ultimately, an infection that is left untreated can turn into a very dangerous condition called sepsis. When someone develops septic shock, this is precisely how an infection can kill. If your loved one has developed an infection that has progressed to sepsis, it is important that you know more about this condition in order to better understand your legal rights. In many cases, sepsis can actually be a sign of nursing home negligence that can entitle your family to financial compensation.

Many nursing home negligence lawsuits result from the fact that a resident has died from or been injured by an infection. These lawsuits allege that the nursing home was negligent in failing to prevent and treat the infection. In order to understand how sepsis can result from nursing home negligence, it is important to know the various stages of an infection.

Nursing Homes are NegligentA review performed by the Special Investigations Division of the House Government Reform Committee discovered nearly 9,000 instances of nursing home abuse or neglect occurring at 5,283 nursing centers during a two year period. Almost one-third of all nursing facilities were responsible for at least one case of abuse during this time.

The study was both revealing and disturbing as it only reaffirms the fears that many people have when it comes to trusting their loved ones to the cares of other people. While some claim that the data is misleading, others believe that it is worth delving deeper into the state of our nursing care industry to determine whether we are suffering from a systemic problem.

Cases of Nursing Abuse Reveal a Disturbing Pattern

Chicago nursing home attorneysFederal laws and regulations are meant to protect nursing home residents and provide for a minimum level of care. These rules form the basis for enforcement actions against nursing homes who fail to follow the rules that can include their suspension or removal from the Medicare and Medicaid programs.

However, the Trump Administration is taking steps to weaken these rules in a way that would put infirm nursing home residents at the mercy of the nursing homes that do everything they can to increase their profits at the expense of the residents that they are supposed to care for on a daily basis.

Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC remains, committed to protecting the legal rights of nursing home patients. If your family member was injured in a nursing facility, contact a Chicago Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer now.

Chicago nursing home abuse lawyersNursing home residents are perhaps the most vulnerable population when it comes to the recent outbreak of the coronavirus. Mortality rates are higher among this population and there have been large outbreaks of the illness that have turned fatal at some nursing homes.

As a result, nursing home operators are scrambling to figure out ways that they can protect their residents from coronavirus (Covid 19). At least, families should be strongly hoping that the nursing homes where their loved ones reside are trying to take preventative measures. Some skilled nursing facilities are taking steps to restrict visitors in an effort to protect their residents.

Higher Death Rate in Older Patients with Coronavirus

average nursing home residentMedicare recently finalized and implemented new payment rules that will impact the bottom line for skilled nursing facilities. Many of them are struggling to put the new rules into place in their business, and the regulations are changing the way that nursing homes provide care for their residents. The skilled nursing facility has already been criticized for putting profits first, and the new Medicare program threatens to make this even worse.

Based on the new reimbursement rules, nursing homes have less incentive to give extensive therapy to residents since it will impact the facility’s bottom line. This may lead to an overall deterioration of the condition of the average nursing home resident who depends on therapy to maintain their health and well-being.

On October 1, 2019, Medicare finalized a new program called the Patient Driven Payment Model (PDPM). Previously, Medicare reimbursements were determined based on therapy minutes. Now, the basis for reimbursement is the patient’s condition as well as their anticipated needs during their stay. Under the new rules, nursing homes must determine the level of care that is necessary for a patient and will then have to deliver care in accordance with the resident’s needs. The facility will have to first determine the resident’s needs and then must make sure not to overdeliver care.

Swallowing Issues Lead to Choking AccidentsAs people age, they tend to develop challenges with swallowing. Research has shown that issues with swallowing can occur even in elderly people with no serious medical conditions. Presbyphagia is a term that refers to these swallowing problems that come with aging.

In nursing homes, the potential for injuries is significant among patients by default. Elderly people in nursing homes are going to be prone to disease and injury—like with swallowing problems and choking—in many instances. Nursing home staff should be carefully trained to anticipate such problems and ideally to prevent them whenever possible.

Whether you have a parent in a nursing home, you are a patient in a nursing home, or you are a nursing home staff member, it is important to be aware of swallowing issues in the elderly and the necessity of preventing choking accidents resulting from such issues.

Ways Nursing Homes Can Help Prevent Bed SoresEveryone has heard complaints about how nursing homes take care of patients. While not all nursing homes are negligent in their treatment of residents and patients, there is no denying how commonly issues like bedsores show up. Since nursing homes and their staff are under constant scrutiny these days by the families of residents and the public in general, it is important that they take extra precautions to avoid unnecessary patient suffering, illnesses, disease and neglect.

Preventing bedsores is one area where nursing homes could excel in their treatment of patients. Bedsores are a challenge for any long-term care facility because they are not always easy to prevent. By looking more closely at the way they take care of patients and the options they have for avoiding more common and relatively minor health issues for those patients, nursing homes can improve their image and better serve their patients.

What Causes Bedsores?

sedentary patients have higher risks of developing bed soresDecubitus Ulcer is derived from the Latin term which means “to lay down.” These ulcers can occur in the form of an open skin wound that cold penetrate the surrounding tissues including the muscle and bone. They are most likely to occur in the case of people who have restricted mobility or those who have been bedridden or immovable for a long period. It is most likely to occur to patients admitted to nursing homes, hospitals and assisted living facilities.

When someone remains in the same position for a longer period without getting any pressure relief, the blood supply can slow down leading to the development of decubitus ulcer. If the nursing home staff attending to the patient does not identify and treat the decubitus ulcer, the small ulcer can soon turn into a large and open wound with grave medical complications and even lead to death.

Even though decubitus ulcers can affect any individual who has limited mobility, it is most likely to occur in patients admitted to nursing homes, assisted living facilities and hospitals. However, most of the time it is attributed by the staff as a part of patients’ aging process, which is an incorrect and erroneous impression created on the mind of the patients and their relatives.

Nurses who are Underpaid who Continue to Take Care of Nursing Home PatientsFor years, a crisis has been brewing in the nursing home industry where certified nursing assistants have received low wages and poor/no benefits while providing care to their residents. Many of these nursing assistant jobs require the employee to work erratic hourly schedules for poor benefits, little pay, and usually no opportunity to advance in their career. These jobs have been associated with high injury rates and high turnover.

Approximately 50% of all nursing assistants in the United States live well below the federal poverty level. Low pay often results in the need to work longer hours, which could cause fatigue and place the resident’s health in danger. The problem with underpaying and understaffing is likely to increase significantly in the years ahead, as the last of the baby boomers enter their retirement years, and the need for additional nursing home beds rises.

According to the US Bureau of Labor, the number of nursing home workers across America has doubled over the last decade with many more jobs likely available by 2024. Statistics show that the population of Americans over 85 years old will likely be doubled by 2030 where most will require some level of professional skilled nursing care at a facility or in their home.

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) conducts regular investigations, surveys and inspections of Nursing Facilities, Assisted Living Homes and Rehabilitation Centers statewide throughout the year. The efforts of the surveyors and inspectors can quickly identify any violation of regulations as outlined by the Nursing Home Care Act. When surveyors identify a deficiency or violation, state and federal nursing home regulators can take quick action to impose severe penalties in monetary fines.

The Public Health Department routinely publishes their publicly available findings online through Quarterly Nursing Home Reports with detailed descriptions of serious problems, violations, and deficiencies. During the first quarter of 2018, surveyors found numerous serious deficiency and violations at the facility’s listed below. Each one was cited for multiple Type A (severe violations) and Type AA (extreme violations) that resulted in fines that ranged from $12,500-$50,000. These facilities include:

Aperion Care Oak Lawn