In response to the Coronavirus or COVID-19, our law firm is constantly monitoring both the legal impact and community health guidelines. Keeping our clients and our employees healthy and safe is our top priority.
We are currently limiting in-person meetings and instead, offer phone and video conferencing support. We are closely monitoring court closures throughout Illinois and will be in touch should there be postponements or delays in your case.
Please call or email us if you have concerns. We are here for you. Be safe and be well!
During the COVID-19 crisis, our attorneys are working and available to discuss your case with you.
Schwartz Injury Law

312-535-4625

60 W. Randolph Street, Suite 300, Chicago, IL 60601

5 Convenient Locations - Available 24/7 - We can travel to you
Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Chicago nursing home neglect lawyer

chicago nursing home neglect lawyerIf your parent or another loved one lives in a nursing home, rehabilitation facility, or assisted living facility, it is important to monitor his or her health and wellbeing. While many nursing homes are safe environments filled with hard-working staff, not all nursing homes meet the standards required by law and expected by residents’ loved ones. Because many nursing home residents are already in poor health, nursing home neglect and abuse can be extremely dangerous. One issue in particular that it is important to remain watchful for is bed sores.

What is a Bed Sore?

Pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers are wounds that occur when there are long periods of pressure on the skin. Blood cannot circulate properly when skin is under pressure for too long. Nursing home residents who are bed-ridden or confined to a wheelchair are at the greatest risk of bed sores. The buttocks, back, and legs are some of the most common places that bed sores develop.

The first signs of a bed sore include pain, swelling, itching, and redness. If the pressure is not relieved, the skin may break open. Pain increases and the wound becomes vulnerable to infection. If nothing is done to address the worsening bed sore, the wound increases in depth to the tissue under the skin. The wound may even reach the tendons, muscles, and bones. At this point, a bed sore sufferer is susceptible to severe infection or even a life-threatening condition called sepsis.

...

Chicago nursing home neglect lawyerNursing homes have a crucial responsibility to provide competent medical care. This includes ensuring that residents get the medications they need in the correct quantity at the right time. Failure to do so can lead to worsened medical conditions and even an avoidable resident death. If you or a loved one were the victim of a medication mistake in a nursing home, you might be curious about your legal options. You may be interested in holding the nursing home accountable for the error and pursuing monetary damages.

Elements of a Nursing Home Neglect Lawsuit

Most medication errors fall under the category of neglect. Nursing homes are held to high standards when it comes to medical care. Most residents are in poor health when they arrive at the facility. They may be on medications intended to alleviate pain, prevent blood clots, regulate blood pressure, treat infections, and more. Without these mediations, they may suffer severe or life-threatening consequences. Consider the story of one nursing home staff member who mistakenly gave a resident the drug vecuronium - a drug commonly used during lethal injections - instead of a common anti-anxiety medication with a similar name. The staff was charged with reckless homicide after the resident died from the medication error.  

Nursing home neglect occurs when a nursing home’s failure to provide reasonably skilled medical care results in a patient's injury or death and damages result from the injury or death. Damages are losses such as additional hospital bills or funeral and burial expenses.  

...

Chicago nursing home abuse and neglect lawyersNursing home abuse and neglect can happen anywhere. Nursing homes and other long-term care facilities across the country struggle with staffing issues, budgetary restraints, and keeping up with America’s quickly growing elderly population. Even though these issues exist, nursing home staff still have a legal and ethical obligation to treat residents with dignity and provide the medical care and daily living assistance they need. When nursing home staff do not uphold this obligation, the staff or facility itself can be held liable for any deaths, injuries, and illnesses caused by the poor care.

Waukegan Woman Says Her Sister Was Not Properly Cared For

Unfortunately, another Chicago-area nursing home is in hot water after allegations of neglect. A Waukegan woman says that her sister has experienced nursing home neglect after a brain aneurysm and stroke caused her to need around-the-clock care. The woman says that when she went to check on her disabled sister at the Waukegan nursing home in which she was living, the woman was shocked. The disabled woman’s feet looked extremely discolored and the skin was very dry and rough.

The sister of the disabled woman says that it was obvious that her sister had not received a bath or even a change of socks in a long time. “They just put socks on her and they left her be,” she said. The nursing home is now saying that they are aware of the issue and are working on a medical plan to treat the disabled woman’s disfigured feet. Her sister believes that the issue should have never gotten so bad without staff noticing, saying, “She needs to be treated like she’s a human being.”

...

Chicago nursing home medication error lawyerData shows that about 1.5 million individuals are living in nursing homes across the United States. As the “Baby Boomer” generation ages, more and more people will need the intensive care that nursing homes and assisted living facilities offer. It has never been more important for those with loved ones in nursing homes to hold the facility and staff within it responsible for their actions. Many nursing homes are understaffed or have staff members who have not been adequately trained. This can result in the residents receiving poor care and consequently worsened medical conditions. One way inadequate staff put residents at risk is through medication errors.

Fragile Health Means Medication Mistakes Can Be Deadly

Those who live in a nursing home are usually there because they have numerous medical conditions, are functionally impaired, have cognitive deficits such as dementia, and are currently on medication which requires supervision. For some residents, their health issues are purely physical, but approximately 70% of residents experience cognitive impairment which makes them unable to understand and remember everything which happens to them. The combination of serious medical issues and cognitive impairment can leave nursing home residents extremely vulnerable to mismanaged medication. In fact, needing help taking their required medications is one of the main reasons some individuals end up in nursing homes. Unfortunately, nursing home staff sometimes make errors with resident’s medication which can put them at risk of injury, illness, or even death.

Examples of Medication Errors That Put Residents at Risk

There are countless ways that nursing home staff can make mistakes when administering medication to residents. MEdciation errors which most frequently occur include:

...

Illinois nursing home neglect lawyersThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that, in any given year, almost three-quarters of all nursing home residents suffer a fall. Furthermore, many of these patients fall more than once per year. While a slip and fall may not be injury-causing to a young, healthy person, seemingly minor falls can have serious consequences for someone whose body is weakened by illness, injury, or old age. Sadly, falls cause around 1,800 nursing home resident deaths each year.

What Causes Falls?

People staying in nursing homes generally are there because they are at least partially unable to care for themselves. For some residents, this is due to a mental incapacitation such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Other residents are recovering from major surgery or other invasive medical procedures. Many nursing home residents experience muscle weakness or gait problems. These factors can make a person much more likely to slip and fall. Sometimes, hazards such wet floors, incorrect bed height, poor lighting, and inadequate equipment further increase risks of falls.

CDC Says Many Falls Go Unreported

Approximately 36 percent of preventable emergency room visits by nursing home patients are caused by falls. An average-sized nursing home—one containing about 100 beds—generally reports about 100 to 200 falls a year. Unfortunately, the CDC says that this information may not accurately reflect the number of falls actually happening in nursing homes across the country. Realistically, many falls are never reported, so the real number is likely to be much higher.

...

Illinois nursing home neglect lawyerNursing home abuse and neglect can sometimes occur not because of what caretakers do, but because of what they fail to do. Whether it is due to being an understaffed facility, inadequate staff training, or lack of oversight, nursing home negligence is sadly common. There are certain standards of care which nursing home staff must meet to ensure the safety of their residents. Unfortunately, when these standards are not met, the result can be devastating to residents as well as their families.

Elderly Woman Denied Essential Medication

A Bartlett, IL  nursing home may be forced to pay millions to a family of a former resident. In February of 2011, the 89-year-old resident was admitted to the facility after suffering a hip fracture. She was meant to stay in the nursing home while undergoing physical therapy to help her recover from her injury. As part of her treatment, the elderly woman was prescribed a medication called Coumadin which thins the blood and can help prevent clotting and strokes. Unfortunately, the woman did not receive this medication on a timely and consistent schedule. Records show that the woman did not receive her stroke-preventing medication for a period of two weeks.

Stroke Causes Significant Decrease in Quality of Life

 In March of 2011, just a month after being admitted to the facility, the woman suffered a stroke with left her almost completely incapacitated. According to family, the woman lost the ability to speak and walk on her own after the stroke. The attorney for the family explains that the stroke left the woman unable to “enjoy life in any realistic manner.” The woman passed away four years after the stroke. Her family believes that her final years would have been much more pleasant had she been given her medication on a consistent schedule.

...
Back to Top