Nursing home employees hold lives in their hands. These individuals, through their employment, promise to provide adequate care to those who live in the nursing home and cannot care for themselves. Though it may sound like a heavy responsibility, these professionals are usually adequately trained, and safety procedures are in place to ensure residents' health is maintained. Sadly, though, sometimes a lapse in care or an intentional harmful act can leave a nursing home patient in a dire situation.
Nine people have been arrested for their alleged part in one of these instances that resulted in a nursing home patient's death. There, a 72-year-old female resident, who was at the home for rehabilitation, died when an on-duty nurse neglected to read doctor's orders, which stated the patient should be connected to a ventilator. As a result, the woman suffocated for two hours. Though alarms rang out, no nursing home professionals stepped in to help. After the resident passed away, numerous nursing home staff members attempted to cover up the negligence, which ultimately led to their arrests. Criminal charges range from criminally negligent homicide to concealment of records.
Instances like this one are completely unacceptable. Though this may seem like an extreme case, nursing home neglect is an all too common occurrence throughout the U.S., including Miami. Whether a resident suffers a nursing home fall, rapid weight loss, bedsores or nursing home abuse, the results can be painful and extremely damaging. Therefore, those who are hurt by a nursing home professional and families who lose a loved one to nursing home errors should consider taking legal action.
A successfully waged lawsuit against a negligent nursing home and its employees can change a victim's life and the nursing home system. A winning case may bring the victim much needed compensation to help pay for additional medical expenses and to help ease pain and suffering. Families who lose a loved one, too, may recover for these harms in addition to funeral costs and loss of companionship.
When such a case is won, the system may change, too. Nursing homes that are forced to pay for their mistakes may be more likely to change their practices to further ensure safety in the future. Thus, this may be one of the best ways to protect future residents from such devastating results.
Source: ABC 7 News "Arrests in Long Island nursing home death," Feb. 11, 2014