Every three month the Illinois Department of Professional Health releases its “Quarterly Violators List.” The list includes the names and citations handed out to all negligent Illinois nursing homes in the state which received some form of citation and/or fine from the state in the past quarter related to their conduct or practices. The list also provides access to the full report issued by the IDPH so that all community members can examine exactly when happened to go wrong at each particular facility. Our Illinois nursing home neglect lawyers understand that these publically available reports are an important way that local residents can be made aware of the quality of care at certain facilities and the risks faced by loved to happen to be in these homes.
For example, the Charleston Rehab and Health Care Center was recently included in the list most recently released. The Facility was given a “Type A” citation from the agency and fine $12,500. The citation an fine stemmed from the nursing home staff member’s failure to ensure that the facility was free of accident hazards and that each resident received proper supervision to prevent accidents.
According to the IDPH report issued late last year, one resident of the facility had smoking privileges. However, the staff members at the home failed to remove a liquid oxygen tank and cannula from the resident before allowing the resident to smoke. Of course, each Illinois nursing home abuse lawyer at our firm appreciates the serious risks of injury to the resident when cigarettes are used near oxygen tanks. It is incumbent upon all nursing home staff members to protect residents from these risks at all times. In this case, the resident of Charleston Rehab was apparently not protected. As a result, the resident’s oxygen cannula ignited, and the resident suffered burns on his face.
In this case the 64-year old resident was in a wheelchair and was outside of the facility when the accident occurred. An employee apparently forgot to have the oxygen removed, and while smoking the ash from the man’s cigarette ignited the oxygen. After the oxygen ignited, the man was rushed to a local hospital where doctors discovered that he has 2nd and 3rd degree burns on his face and right hand. He was brought to the burn unit and was placed on a ventilator for a short time. Fortunately, he is expected to recover.
Many vulnerable seniors are placed in the care of those at area nursing homes specifically because there are too many safety risks present when they live alone. Instead, close observation is required to ensure that those risks are guarded against and seniors are allowed to live free of serious harm. However, all local nursing home neglect attorneys know that there are far too many situations where there is a lapse in that basic care. Residents can be hurt, or even killed, in those situations. That is why the state health issue fines and citations. It is also why families are free to pursue civil litigation to ensure that there is full and proper accountability for the harms caused to their loved ones.
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