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Nursing homes fined for falls, mistreated wounds, other injuries

Nursing homes carry a heavy responsibility: caring for those who cannot be cared for by their loved ones. While many institutions are prepared to fulfill this duty, others fail. When a lapse in care occurs, residents can fall victim to bedsores and other serious injuries. This nursing home neglect is unacceptable, and homes that cause these injuries should be punished and should pay to make victims whole again.

Recently, three nursing homes were fined for providing inadequate care to residents. In one instance, a woman was not given proper medication and treatment for a wound, resulting in maggots developing in the wound. In another case, a resident fell and suffered a pelvic fracture. The last institution was fined for not using a mechanical lift to move a patient from bed to a wheelchair, which resulted in an injury. These cases highlight the dangers of nursing home neglect.

Injuries sustained through improper monitoring can be severe. Nursing home residents can end up with unexplained nursing home bruising, rapid weight loss, bedsores, or a nursing home fall that leads to broken bones. Recovering from these injuries can be expensive, painful and stressful.

Filing a lawsuit against a negligent nursing home serves a dual purpose. First, once a patient establishes the institution breached its duty of care to the patient and injuries resulted, compensation can be obtained. This money can then be applied to medical expenses and future rehabilitation. A victim can also be compensated for any pain and suffering inflicted upon him as a result of the accident.

Second, a lawsuit can punish these institutions, ensuring they will implement proper safety measures to prevent future accidents and injuries. These remedial actions may include retraining staff, replacing personnel, or developing new methods of monitoring. Perhaps then these institutions will be able to live up to expectations.

Source: Hartford Courant, "Three Nursing Homes Face Fines For Lapses Connected To Injuries," Lisa Chedekel, March 27, 2013

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