All patients are entitled to receive the highest level of care. Unfortunately, there are many cases where nursing home residents are not treated properly. Since the residents are older and can have debilitating conditions like dementia, nursing home caregivers can often hide the negligence that is happening behind closed doors. Negligence at a nursing home includes things like improper supervision that leads to patient injury or administering improper medications. Nursing home negligence is extremely sad because often these residents rely heavily on the staff for their basic daily needs. If you have a loved one who lives in a nursing home and you suspect negligence, it is time to get help. A negligence attorney can work with you and your family to create a medical malpractice lawsuit.
This type of lawsuit aims to establish liability and recover damages. While financial payouts can’t take back the inappropriate level of care your loved one received, it does establish a sense of justice. In addition, families need to know what negligence looks like. Read on to learn about negligence at nursing homes.
Improper Supervision? Tell Your Negligence Attorney
Nursing home supervision is important. Many nursing home residents are considered to be “fall risk” patients. This is due to medical conditions or just their age. As a result, these patients might need to be helped from their bed to the bathroom. They also may need help when moving around their room or the nursing home. Negligence occurs when these patients are not properly supervised and end up trying to go somewhere on their own. For example, if a nurse is not checking up on their patient for hours, that patient may end up getting out of bed on their own to use the bathroom and could get hurt. These issues often come about as a result of lack of staffing or improper training. Both fall under the category of negligence.
If you know that your loved one is being improperly supervised at a nursing home, this is grounds to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Failure to Monitor or Ignoring a Medical Condition
Residents of nursing homes have a lot of medical conditions. It is very important that staff knows about and provides the necessary care for these conditions. Staff should understand how patients need to be monitored. This could be things like taking blood pressure every few hours or keeping an eye on pain levels and making the proper decisions to medicate when necessary. Keeping up with patient issues can be hard. Nursing homes need to be properly staffed. Also, the staff needs to be trained on how to monitor and care for their patients.
Another area of neglect occurs when staff ignores a medical condition. Here are some reasons nursing home staff might be considered negligent for ignoring medical issues:
- Refusing to schedule a doctor’s appointment for a patient who has repeatedly complained about an ailment.
- Ignoring a visible condition on a patient, like a rash.
- Not taking the time to properly document symptoms.
- Failure to report known symptoms and conditions to a patient’s family members.
On any given day, the only people your loved one may see are nursing home staff. It is crucial that the staff members are taking the time to carefully monitor existing medical conditions. Also, staff should be on the lookout for new issues that arise. Without proper monitoring of pre-existing and new symptoms, patients could become sicker. Failure to monitor or ignoring medical conditions is a reason for family members to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Improper Administration of Drugs
All nursing home staff members know that their patients take a lot of medications. While it can seem overwhelming, it is crucial that staff keep track of which drugs are taken, at what time, whether they need to be taken with food, and what drugs cannot be taken together. A mistake in administering drugs can lead to dangerous side effects. In worst case scenarios it can cause death. Nursing home staff should receive extensive training about administering drugs.
In addition, the nursing home should also have systems in place for electronically recording patient medication information. If your loved one took an incorrect drug, the wrong dosage, or a mixture of drugs that shouldn’t be mixed, it is time to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
How a Negligence Attorney Can Help
If you suspect negligence at a loved one’s nursing home, the first step is to contact a negligence attorney. Your attorney will create a medical malpractice case. The case will help your loved one receive financial compensation. During the lawsuit, we will aim to prove that the nursing home staff breached the professional standard level of care. It is important to get an attorney on your side. We are familiar with and experienced in working with other medical malpractice cases. This experience helps us to know what strategies are successful when attempting to get damages for your loved one.
The most important thing to note is that you must be an advocate for your loved one in the nursing home. The elderly need people on their side and without your help, a nursing home can be an isolating and scary place. This is especially true when negligence is occurring. For more information about nursing home negligence and how an attorney can help you build a case, contact Reynolds, Horne & Survant today. We look forward to working with you and you family.