A man has filed a lawsuit claiming negligence in the death of his wife at a Cook County nursing home. According to the lawsuit, the woman developed pressure ulcers along with extreme weight loss while living at The Villa at Evergreen Park, also known as the Evergreen Living & Rehab Center. The woman suffered both mental and physical deterioration as a result of the neglect and died in September 2013. The suit claims that the negligence contributed to her death.
Malnutrition is Negligence
Very often, malnutrition that occurs while a resident of a nursing home is preventable and may be considered negligent care or elder abuse. Elderly patients and those who are recovering from illness could be at a higher risk for malnutrition. However, once a patient is receiving adequate nutrition their health can quickly go downhill. Malnutrition may occur in the elderly for a number of different reasons. For example, the patient may be taking medication that could cause a decrease in appetite. Pain and illness may make someone less hungry, and dental problems may make eating difficult or painful. Regardless of the reason, a patient’s dietary intake must be monitored and adjusted accordingly.
Malnutrition is characterized by several important factors. Weight loss is one of the physical signs of malnutrition, although it can be difficult to see on someone who is bedridden. Patients may become sick more often and their ability to fight off disease could be compromised. They could also experience hair loss and reduced mental capacity. Additionally, the patient could become dizzy or have trouble standing or walking. Malnutrition can quickly become serious in the elderly and must be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible.
Malnutrition can easily be prevented when proper care is being used at a nursing home facility. The caregiver should monitor dietary intake by reviewing food that was served and eaten. Caloric calculations should be made to ensure that the patient is taking in enough calories each day. If the patient is having trouble feeding himself the caregiver will need to assist. When diet alone is not enough to provide adequate nutrition it should be accompanied by a nutritional supplement or drink. The physician should be involved in cases where the patient is not taking in enough calories. Also, fluid intake must also be carefully monitored to make sure that dehydration does not become a problem. The physician must be called at the first sign of a problem and in some extreme cases intervention will be required through intravenous feeding as temporary support. The goal is to intervene before malnutrition has a chance to become serious.
Nursing Home Negligence
Nursing home negligence and abuse is more common than many people think. There are many types of negligence, one of which is failure to provide proper nutrition to a patient. Another form of negligence is the presence of pressure sores. In this case, the woman had both pressure sores and malnutrition, which reportedly contributed to her death. If your loved one suffered serious injury or death due to nursing home negligence you may be entitled to collect money to pay for medical costs as well as for pain and suffering and legal fees. Contact the experienced attorneys at Levin & Perconti to discuss your case today.
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