In another example of a family taking civil recourse for the alleged wrongful death of a loved one at a nursing home, the husband of Catherine Hudson filed a lawsuit in circuit court against Symphony of Crestwood, which is a nursing home in Crestwood, Illinois. She was originally admitted to the nursing home after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis since the disease left her in need of daily assistance along with a plan of care. Sadly, Ms. Hudson was only in her late 50s when she passed away. The lawsuit claims that she died as a result of negligence. The victim suffered from pressure sores and a fractured knee. To make matters worse, she suffered from an infection after her gastrostomy tube (feeding tube) was not properly reinserted. A gastrostomy tube is used to help artificially provide nutritional support for a patient who is otherwise unable to feed themselves or is unable to receive nutrition through normal methods.
In this particular instance, the lawsuit alleges that when her feeding tube became dislodged, staff failed to conduct an X-ray as required in order to pinpoint the proper location to reinsert the tube into Ms. Hudson’s stomach. As a result of the tube not being properly inserted, the food she was being fed leaked and led to infection. The Illinois Department of Public Health even cited the nursing home for its failure to properly reinsert the feeding tube, as well as a failure to take action when it appeared to not work, including a failure to contact a doctor. Levin & Perconti attorneys Steven Levin, Margaret Battersby Black, and Daniel Goldfaden represent the Hudson family in this matter.
Demanding Accountability Following Elder Abuse and Neglect
Nursing homes and staff must be held accountable for these horrible failures to properly care for and pay attention to their residents. The failure to follow protocol, such as with the reinsertion of a feeding tube, can be the difference between life and death. It has also been far too common for victims of neglect in nursing homes to develop pressure sores. These can occur and be hastened by a failure to properly bathe patients as well as a failure to properly inspect patients and treat such wounds at the onset. Sores can occur when patients are left in the same position, or in the same unchanged bedding for too long. Without treatment, they become markedly worse and lead to infection. In Ms. Hudson’s case, her husband, even repeatedly expressed concerns over bed sores and her lack of time out of bed.
Broken and fractured bones and limbs are also evidence where a patient is not properly watched, and may fall out of a bed or chair, down the stairs, or wander off elsewhere where they sustain injury. In the case of injuries and infections, failing to consult the proper authority – the doctor – can compound the problem. This case underscores the importance of taking action when a loved one has been put in jeopardy by a neglectful nursing home staff, and suffers injuries or even sometimes death. It also emphasizes the importance of our government agencies that oversee nursing homes, as well as the role of competent and expert counsel in seeking justice for such tragedies.
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