After an 80-year-old nursing home resident went to take a nap on May 6, 2012, she did not wake up. Her attentive daughter felt that something did not seem right – even though her mother had some medical conditions, she enjoyed life and expressed her decision to her nursing home care providers that she wanted to be kept alive and that she wanted all efforts to be made to keep her alive.
The nursing home resident and her daughter remained close while the woman was in the nursing home and had a loving relationship. Apparently, the daughter’s fear that her mother’s death may have been due to nursing home neglect may be true.
During a telephone call to the nursing home, the daughter was left on hold for an extended period of time. She was then instructed to speak with a lawyer for the nursing home. The daughter’s suspicion was raised and led her to contact the proper authorities to begin an investigation into the care that her mother was provided before her death.
The investigation found that the woman began experiencing signs of medical distress as early as 10 a.m. on May 6, 2012. While the nursing home ordered some tests, the staff did not contact the woman’s medical doctor to discuss her symptoms, condition, or medical care – no doctor’s orders for her medical care were obtained.
By 3:45 p.m. on May 6, 2012, the woman was found unresponsive in her bed in her room and could not be revived. Despite the woman’s explicit written instructions that she wished that efforts be made to keep her alive, the nursing home failed to attempt CPR, it never contacted an ambulance to transport her to a hospital, and it never contacted the police to report her death while in the nursing home so that a potential investigation into her death could have begun at that time.
The nursing home is in the process of responding to the state survey team’s investigation findings and stresses that it had been successful in overturning half of the results during the most recent state survey cycle. However, this particular nursing home had recently been placed on the Special Focus Facilities List maintained by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that lists nursing homes with histories of “serious issues.”
While many residents of our nation’s nursing homes are elderly and/or suffer from multiple medical conditions, any unnecessary or untimely death in a nursing home should be investigated so that the cause of death may be determined as well as to determine whether the nursing home failed to provide appropriate care that may have prevented the resident’s death so that nursing homes may improve their care and residents may have some assurance that the care they receive will at least meet the minimal level of care that nursing homes are required to provide.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries or death as a result of negligent nursing home care, nursing home neglect, nursing home abuse, or medical malpractice while a resident of a nursing home, then you should promptly contact a medical malpractice attorney or nursing home attorney in your local area who may be willing to investigate your possible nursing home claim for you.
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