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Illinois nursing home blamed for resident’s fatal fall injuries

When it becomes more difficult for elderly parents to live on their own, Chicago families might consider moving a loved one into a nursing home. Nursing homes are supposed to be safe places for the frail, disabled and ill to live, and families trust that these facilities will provide their loved ones with quality care.

Quality care certainly involves making sure that residents take their medications each day and that they receive proper nutrition and exercise. But quality care also involves monitoring each patient’s health and making any necessary accommodations for those who suffer from frequent falls, are prone to escaping, or have other special needs.

Last week, a lawsuit was filed on behalf of a deceased Illinois nursing home patient. The patient died from injuries he sustained after he had fallen several times at the nursing home. The lawsuit states that the nursing home was negligent and that the facility should be held responsible for the patient’s wrongful death.

According to the lawsuit, the facility had violated the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act when the man was living at the facility. Within two weeks, the patient had fallen out of his wheelchair once and out of his bed three times. No action was taken to better accommodate the patient in order to prevent more falls. Additionally, the lawsuit states that the facility failed to treat the patient for injuries he sustained when he fell four times on four separate occasions.

The patient died after the fourth fall from head injuries. The administrator of the man’s estate is seeking $150,000 in damages.

It is understandable that not all falls can be prevented at nursing homes. However, the facility should have known after the first, or even the second fall that the patient was not safe. Changes could have been made to prevent other falls and proper treatment should have been provided to prevent the man’s injuries from killing him.

Source: The Madison-St. Clair Record, “Edwardsville nursing home sued over resident’s falls,” Andrea Dearden, Aug. 22, 2012


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