The line between the type of care provided at a nursing home and the care provided at a hospital is sometimes not easy to distinguish. The traditional long-term care unit is a “skilled nursing” facility, meaning that more medical care is provided than at mere assisted living facility but less skilled care than at an actual hospital. As a result, nursing home abuse or neglect lawsuits can involve general caregiving lapses (like allowing a senior to fall) or actual medical errors (like not providing certain treatment in a timely fashion).
Importantly, even lawsuits against hospitals can take both forms, either problems with the medical treatment itself or with basic caregiving and monitoring of patients. For example, our team of neglect lawyers recently settled a case on behalf of a client against Rush Medical Center following failure to monitor a patient after a CT scan was performed
Chicago Malpractice Lawsuit
This particular case was filed on behalf of a daughter after her mother’s passing. A few years ago, the mother was rushed to the hospital after exhibiting a range of symptoms, including vomiting, shortness of breath, and a racing heart. Together, the medical staff identified her for possible congestive heart failure.
In order to reach an accurate diagnosis, the doctor ordered a CT scan to be performed. When the test was complete, the CT technician left the mother in the hallway alone. This was a mistake, because the CT test involved using a contrasting dye. This dye can harm some patients, and so medical professionals should know that patients need to be monitored in the aftermath of a CT test where the dye was use. This monitoring is to ensure that quick care can be provided in the event of an adverse reaction. Considering that most patients are already vulnerable because of some injury or illness, the risk of severe consequences for neglect in these cases are high.
Unfortunately, protocol was breached by allowing the patient to go into a locked bathroom alone. While inside, she suffered a reaction to the dye. Because the door was locked and no key was available, medical support could not reach her for an extended period of time. When the door was finally opened the damage had already been done. The reaction combined with her existing heart problems led to respiratory distress. The mother suffered a permanent brain injury as a result of oxygen deprivation from not breathing while trapped in the bathroom.
In the aftermath of the mother’s passing a few years later--having never recovered from the brain injury--a malpractice lawsuit was filed. Our team worked on the daughter’s behalf to ensure full accountability was provided. Fortunately, a settlement was reached in the amount of $6 million.
These types of care lapses, wherever they occur, are never acceptable. Feel free to contact our neglect lawyers if you or someone you know was harmed by similar errors.
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