A Florida nursing home was recently fined for neglect that may have resulted in a resident's death. The Agency for Health Care Administration rendered the $36,000 fine after an investigation determined nursing home employees failed to assess a patient's unexplained bruising, correctly administer medication, and to follow doctor's orders. The victim had been admitted to the nursing home with several medical conditions, including a blood clot in one of his legs, high blood pressure, and heart disease. However, the nursing home's failures likely caused the victim to suffer a stroke, related to the blood clot in his leg. Had employees properly administered blood-thinning medicine, the victim might still be alive.
Stories like this are no doubt scary for Floridians. These institutions promise to take care of our elderly loved ones, yet mistakes happen all the time. Failing to move a resident, for example, can cause bedsores and infections that may lead to amputation or death. Inadequate supervision may lead to a nursing home fall and broken bones. And poor feeding habits can lead to malnutrition and rapid weight loss. In some instances, residents suffer serious injuries at the hands of nursing home abuse.
The loved ones of a nursing home resident should look out for signs of neglect. It is not always easy for a victim to talk about the incident or to clearly state what has happened to him or her. However, these individuals deserve protection. Therefore, if a loved one sees unexplained bruising, weight loss, or inappropriate care in the form of missed medication or inadequate monitoring, he or she should consider taking legal action.
Filing a nursing home neglect lawsuit may help a victim recover the compensation he or she needs to reach a full recovery and find some comfort, but it also punishes negligent and abusive nursing home employees. Such claims often force nursing homes to reassess their safety measures and make changes that ensure patient safety is once again made a top priority.
Source: Florida Today, "State fines West Melbourne nursing home for neglect," Chuck McClung, May 6, 2014