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Mysterious Illinois Nursing Home Death Spurs Calls for Autopsy

The Galesburg Register-Mail reported this week on a bizarre Illinois nursing home death involving an 82-year old resident at Heartland Healthcare in Galesburg.

According to initial police reports, the man was found dead in his room by a nursing assistance at 10:30 in the evening. The nursing assistant who discovered his body immediately knew something was afoul, because the victim had an oxygen tube and electrical cord wrapped around his neck and tied to a lever that was suspended over his bed.

Several staff members rushed to the area to provide some emergency resuscitation measures, but little could be done. Emergency responders were called and the coroner eventually pronounced the man dead at the scene shortly after. The suspicious death has shaken up many in the community who are wondering what went wrong.

The Knox County coroner explained that they are not able “to determine if it was something that [the victim] did intentionally, or it was simply an accident. He may have been trying to get out of bed. He was found halfway in and halfway out of the bed with the cord wrapped around his neck. We don’t have any exact reason to believe it was suicide.”

Whatever the case may be, the nursing home where this tragedy took place must conduct a thorough review of the event to determine how it was allowed to occur. If the man accidentally became ensnared in the cords, than its clear the facility was negligent in allowing the man’s room to be kept in such a dangerous fashion.

Our Illinois nursing home attorneys at Levin & Perconti know that nursing home negligence comes in many forms at local facilities. Seniors at these homes have particular vulnerabilities that must be guarded against-including physical weaknesses that could lead to tragedies like the one in this case.

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