When our loved one moves into a nursing facility we are often relieved to think that he will be safe and secure. However, that is not always the case. A recent lawsuit was filed by Levin & Perconti on behalf of the administrator for the estate of a resident who died while under nursing home care. The woman was a resident of Spring Valley Nursing Center, LLC, where she suffered from renal failure, dehydration and infection and subsequently died. The lawsuit states that the woman was increasingly ill from December 2014 until her death on March 4, 2014.
Dehydration in Nursing Homes
One of the common fears for residents of nursing homes is the possibility of dehydration. Dehydration as well as malnutrition occurs commonly in nursing homes. Dehydration occurs when residents do not get an adequate intake of liquid. This may happen for a number of reasons. Elderly people may not be able to drink or swallow properly and they may not feel thirsty even though they require water. Others are simply too sick or are bedridden and unable to request liquids. Regardless of the reasons, nursing care staff should provide adequate supervision and care to ensure that proper hydration is achieved every day.
Complications from Dehydration
Dehydration can cause a number of health concerns, many of which are serious. In the initial stages of dehydration the person will experience a headache, dry mouth and nose, decreased urine output, dry skin, constipation, thirst, fatigue, and dizziness. If the dehydration continues it worsens and is considered chronic. Those suffering from severe dehydration become increasingly irritable; have dry skin and sunken eyes, and little to no urination. Additionally, they may experience rapid heartbeat, fast breathing, fever, and even delirium. Eventually, the organs begin to shut down.
Treatment for Dehydration
The treatment for dehydration is the immediate administration of water. It is helpful to provide liquid with electrolytes to help balance the system. Severe dehydration is a medical emergency and requires hospitalization. Liquids will be provided intravenously to assist in quickly replacing necessary fluids. Testing and evaluation will be done to determine the extent of organ damage. Some organs may not recover, particularly in older individuals. In this situation, the woman suffered renal failure, likely as a direct result of chronic dehydration.
Nursing Home Neglect
Dehydration of residents in a care facility is a type of nursing home neglect. Nursing home neglect occurs because staff members are not properly taking care of residents. The providers in this lawsuit neglected to supervise the resident and were responsible for inadequate medical and personal care. Neglect may happen due to understaffing, improper training, or simply inadequate supervision. Caregivers must be aware of the risk of dehydration and watch for signs, especially in those who are prone to the problem. Monitoring of liquid intake is necessary and medical attention must be sought at the first sign of a potential condition. Those steps were not taken in this case and this led to the woman’s death.
If your loved one suffered a serious injury or died as a result of nursing home neglect, contact the skilled lawyers at Levin & Perconti to learn more about your case.
See Related Posts: