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Illinois Nursing Home Death Raised Questions About Patient Transfers

Late last week Forbes discussed the unique case of a 58-year old local man with muscular dystrophy who died only three weeks after being moved into an area nursing home from an Illinois charity hospital where he had spent the last 17 years. The Illinois nursing home death is raising questions about the transfer process in Cook County that was conducted after the hospital where the resident spent the majority of his life was shut down. The transfer was part of a Cook County move to save money by converting the hospital into an outpatient center and moving all of the current facility residents to different locations. The victim in this case was one of those residents. The conversion was bitterly protested by some in the community, but policymakers moved ahead with the decision anyway.

In total, nine patients were moved from the hospital into other facilities at the end of August. The man in this case predicted that he would not survive after the move. Unfortunately, his prediction proved correct. The man died roughly three weeks after moving to the new facility from pneumonia and a blood infection. His family has suggested that the problems were caused at least in part by Illinois nursing home neglect and problems with the care that he received at the new location.

The victim’s family has filed a complaint against the facility with the Illinois Department of Public Health. The complaint suggests that the nursing home broke promises made to the family about the level of care that their loved one would receive. The complaint further alleges that the facility lacked necessary equipment to provide adequate care such as a heated humidifier-the man breathed through a ventilator. Days went by before the resident had a working call button, because he did not have the strength to use the “pull cord” version which existed at the home originally. There are also questions about whether staff members at the facility were properly trained to understand the victim’s unique needs. It is unclear if there was anything involved with the physical transfer of the man contributed to his passing. Moving a patient who is on a ventilator requires particularly careful planning. Any gaps in that planning may result in unneeded stress being placed on the fragile patient which could have severe consequences.

It goes without saying that all nursing home in our area have a duty to provide the patients in their care with whatever level of treatment that they need. No facility should accept an individual as a resident if they do not have the proper equipment, training, or are in any other way unable to provide the services which the resident and their family expect. Our Chicago nursing home abuse lawyers know that this basic tenant of proper care is violated again and again at homes in our area. This cannot be tolerated. If you or someone you know has been hurt because of Illinois nursing home neglect, do not sit idly by. Contact our office and begin the process of holding those wrongdoers accountable for their conduct.

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