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Chicago nursing home neglect attorneyVeterans risked their lives to protect the freedoms that we enjoy every day. Sadly, many veterans are not receiving the compassionate and competent care they deserve. Nursing homes across the country are understaffed and staffed by employees who are not adequately trained. Tragically, thousands of nursing home residents, many of whom are veterans, die because of negligent or understaffed nursing homes.

Blind Nursing Home Resident with Dementia Passes Away After a Head Injury

Lawmakers in Iowa are now questioning the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) about a nursing home resident’s unexpected death in a Veterans Affairs nursing home. In December of last year, a 91-year-old World War II veteran passed away after a suffering massive head injury in a VA facility. The man, who is legally blind and suffers from dementia, had been removed from one-on-one supervision at the nursing home prior to his fatal fall.

According to medical records, the man frequently wandered around the facility and into other residents' rooms. While wandering unsupervised, he tipped his wheelchair over backwards and hit his head causing a brain bleed. Surveillance video and medical records show that the nursing home staff did not report the incident for 40 minutes after the elderly man hit his head. They then waited over two hours before taking him to the emergency room. The man suffered for five hours total before being transferred to a trauma hospital. He tragically passed away from the head injury two days later. Family members of the deceased as well as lawmakers are demanding an explanation as to why medical treatment was so delayed.

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Illinois nursing home abuse attorneysStudies suggest that over half of all Americans will need to stay in a long-term care facility like a nursing home at least once in their life. For some, a nursing home or assisted living facility becomes their new permanent home. Whether their stay is for one night or for the rest of their lives, residents in a nursing home deserve to be treated with kindness and respect. Their medical needs as well as personal needs should be met to the best of the nursing home’s ability. Various federal and local laws spell out the rights that elderly or disabled people staying in a nursing home have. Tragically, not every nursing home treats residents the way they deserve. Sometimes nursing home abuse and neglect can even lead to an innocent resident’s death.

Nurse Faces Gross Patient Neglect and Forgery Charges

There is much controversy about the role of nursing home staff in taking care of residents. When a resident dies under suspicious or unusual circumstances, it can often be difficult to pinpoint exactly who is to blame. The question of fault is now being considered in a nursing home neglect and abuse case in Ohio. In Putnam County, a trial has begun for a licensed practical nurse who has been blamed for the death of a 76-year-old nursing home resident. Phyllis Campbell passed away due to hypothermia at the Hilty Memorial Nursing Home after she wandered out the doors of the facility and into the courtyard.

Unmonitored Nursing Home Residents May Wander Off into Dangerous Environments

Many elderly nursing home residents have cognitive impairments which make them unable to care for themselves. Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are common ailments among the nursing home resident population. Individuals like these often require special care and supervision so that they do not stumble into danger. Campbell was wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet when she wandered outside of the nursing home walls and tragically died, but it was improperly attached and it malfunctioned. Because the bracelet did not work as intended, no alarm sounded after the elderly woman eloped. Staff admitted they never checked in on the resident even though a check-in was documented as completed.

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Illinois nursing home abuse attorneysA large majority of nursing home patients will spend the rest of their lives in such facilities. Patients like these often have physical or mental health conditions that make them unable to live at home or even in in assisted living facility. At the risk of being too blunt, this means that death is a part of everyday operations at the average nursing home in Illinois.

Most residents who die in nursing homes eventually succumb to their existing conditions. At a certain point, there is only so much that modern medicine can do as people age and become weaker. There are, however, far too many examples of nursing home residents who have died prematurely because of the actions or negligence of facility staff. Last month, the Illinois Department of Public Health (DPH) announced that it has fined two separate Illinois nursing homes over preventable patient deaths this year.

Lincoln Facility Fined $50,000

In January, a 64-year-old woman was involved in a car accident and was admitted to a nursing home in Lincoln, IL to receive treatment. An investigation by the DPH determined that the woman suffered from asthma and sleep apnea. She reportedly had been having trouble breathing for about three days, but the nursing staff did not notify her doctor until the third day—by which point her issue had become an emergency. The woman was given an inhaler, but she was found unresponsive the next day. State records show she died a few days later. The official cause of death was a Staph infection. The DPH fined the home $50,000 for failing to take timely action.

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Chicago nursing home abuse attorneysThose who stay in a nursing home are usually there because they cannot physically or mentally care for themselves anymore. Families place their loved ones in nursing homes with the expectation that the staff will treat their family member with the same compassion and dignity that they do. When a resident at a nursing home is injured or killed due to the negligence of the nursing home staff, the injured person or the estate of the individual who passed away may be eligible for compensation. Such was the situation in a recent case involving a Georgia nursing home.

Lacking Medical Staff Can Result in Inadequate Care

The case in question was a lawsuit that stemmed from the 2012 death of a 71-year-old resident in a Lowndes County, GA, nursing home. According to court documents, the problems began the elderly man began complaining of vomiting and a distended abdomen. An alleged lack of appropriate medical staff at the facility meant that there was not a registered nurse (RN) or a doctor who could provide prompt medical attention. The only available medical staff member was a licensed practical nurse (LPN) who examined the man and called an off-site physician’s assistant (PA) for a second opinion, the lawsuit allged.

The suit claimed that the LPN contemplated sending the man to an emergency room based on his presenting symptoms, but the PA did not agree that emergency room treatment was necessary. The man’s condition reportedly worsened, and he was finally taken to a hospital. He only survived for another 12 hours, and he died from complications due to a bowel obstruction.

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