Earlier this week on our Chicago medical malpractice law blog, we began discussing a troubling report that was recently published by Bloomberg News. The report suggests that nursing home abuse is not as uncommon as we would like to think it is, and anyone could become a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, especially when facilities are more focused on making money instead of keeping patients safe and healthy.
The report provided some examples of how patients have been harmed by for-profit nursing homes that have failed to make patient safety their number one priority. One dangerous mistake for-profit facilities and chains make is cutting staff to make more money. The Bloomberg News report pointed out that one nursing home chain had cut staff at 22 different facilities. As a result, the chain has recently been charged with nearly a dozen criminal counts of elder abuse and it has also been sued several times for wrongful deaths resulting from poor care at the chain’s nursing homes.
When facilities reduce staff, they may not be able to provide consistent and necessary care. For example, patients who need help getting out of bed to use the restroom or to get some exercise may go ignored when there are not enough workers available to help residents in nursing homes. By not getting the help they need to get out of bed, nursing home residents may develop bed sores, they may be forced to sit in their own urine and feces, and they may even suffer serious injuries if they do try to get out of bed on their own.
The Bloomberg News report stated that one woman fell three times and broke her hip twice while living in an understaffed nursing home for seven months. After undergoing surgeries for her injuries, the woman still did not receive the care she needed because the facility failed to hire enough workers. The woman developed bed sores while recovering from her injuries and she also contracted several infections. Eventually, the resident died from all of her health complications.
Nursing home abuse and negligence is dangerous. If you believe that your loved one has suffered injuries under similar conditions like the ones mentioned in today’s blog post, you may want to consider consulting an attorney in order to protect your loved one from additional harm.
Source: Bloomberg, “For-Profit Nursing Homes Lead in Overcharging While Care Suffers,” Peter Waldman, Dec. 30, 2012
Nursing Home Neglect