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Nursing home patient died from injuries suffered during fire drill

Choosing a nursing home for a loved one in Chicago is often a lengthy and challenging process for families. Families want to make sure their loved ones will receive the proper care and attention they need and deserve. And in order to trust that a nursing home and its workers will take proper care of a loved one, a family must do their research.

When researching nursing homes, families may certainly ask questions about how many workers are on staff, how patients are administered drugs, whether any workers have been cited for nursing home neglect or abuse in the past, and how facilities monitor the overall health of their patients. However, families should also ask nursing homes about how they train staff to respond in emergency situations, including natural disasters, building fires, or other types of emergencies.

When workers are not properly trained, or when nursing homes lack procedures for effectively handling emergency situations, vulnerable patients may be at risk of suffering serious or fatal injuries. Recently, a wrongful death lawsuit was filed against a nursing home because one of the home’s patients had died from injuries she suffered during a fire drill. Had staff conducted the drill in a safe manner, the woman would not have suffered fatal injuries, the lawsuit claims.

The lawsuit against the nursing home was filed last week. According to the lawsuit, the nursing home had conducted a fire drill in October 2012. During the drill, one of the patients, who was wheelchair-bound, had been wheeled out of the facility by employees and was placed near a hill. The patient’s wheelchair had rolled down the hill, causing the patient to be thrown from her wheelchair onto the ground. The patient fell facedown in water at the bottom of the hill.

The patient was seriously injured in the accident. She was hospitalized for her injuries, but she did not survive her injuries. She died several days after the accident. According to the wrongful death lawsuit, the woman had died of aspiration pneumonia. The lawsuit argues that the nursing home’s employees should have made sure the wheelchair-bound patient was placed in a safer location during the drill.

Source: waaytv.com, “Wrongful death lawsuit filed against Decatur nursing home,” May 9, 2013

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