Victims of nursing home neglect and their families should be familiar with the legal resources available to them when an incident arises. A nursing home is appealing a $25,000 fine from the state of Illinois for an incident where the staff failed to notice a change in a patient's health and respond accordingly. The patient later died. An inspection report from the Illinois Department of Health reports that the victim was taken from the nursing home to an emergency room. The victim died four days after being taken to the emergency room with pneumonia and sepsis, which are both serious infections.
The victim suffered from dementia and severe cognitive deficits. He was reported lethargic during a meal days before he went to the emergency room. The patient's wife allegedly declined to have him sent to the hospital for testing. The victim displayed decreased activity and an increasingly altered mental state over the two days prior to being taken to the emergency room. The victim's wife had noticed him growing increasingly weak in the two weeks prior to being taken to the emergency room.
Once at the hospital, the victim was diagnosed with septic shock and pneumonia, higher-than-normal potassium levels, a buildup of lactic acid in his system and kidney problems. The man was discharged into hospice services and died days later.
Nursing home neglect situations can be complex and troubling for families who have entrusted the care of their loved one to a nursing home. Because both personal injury and wrongful death legal options can apply in circumstances of nursing home neglect and nursing home deaths, both victims and their families should be familiar with these options and whether they might serve as a resource in their particular situation and circumstances.
Source: The State Journal-Register, "Sherman nursing home fighting $25,000 fine," Dean Olsen, April 21, 2018