Nursing homes are legally required to provide proper care to all residents, regardless of their conditions or needs. When we choose a care facility for our elderly relatives we trust that they will not be remiss in their duties. This, unfortunately, is not always the case. The estate administrator has filed a lawsuit claiming negligent care in the woman’s death at the nursing home. While the woman was in the care of the nursing home she suffered serious medical problems including dehydration, hypotension, and hypertension which led to her death. The lawsuit seeks damages on behalf of the woman’s estate in excess of the jurisdictional limits.
Dehydration is a Serious Problem
Nursing homes must ensure that all residents are eating and drinking as they should. Sadly, dehydration and malnutrition are quite common medical issues in these types of facilities. The woman in this case suffered from dehydration, which in part led to her death. When dehydration continues for an extended period of time it can be a medical emergency. It must be treated immediately and it could cause organ damage or death. There are a number of different symptoms associated with dehydration. Nursing home staff must be trained to recognize the signs of dehydration and seek medical treatment for anyone who requires it.
Symptoms and Treatment of Dehydration
The symptoms of dehydration can begin with a headache and progress with confusion, irritability, lethargy, fainting, rapid pulse and breathing, low blood pressure, convulsions and heart failure. Caregivers should be aware of these symptoms because dehydration can be deadly. Patients who are at a high risk of dehydration should have their fluid intake monitored closely. Treatment of minor dehydration includes rehydrating with a solution of water and electrolytes provided intravenously. Severe dehydration requires hospitalization.
Nursing Home Neglect
Dehydration should not occur in a nursing home facility. If it does happen it is almost certainly a sign of nursing home neglect. Staff must provide adequate care and supervision including making sure that the residents are getting proper intake of food and fluids. Neglect is a common occurrence, even in the best of nursing facilities. Understaffing and improperly trained staff are responsible for a multitude of accidents and injuries including falls, pressure sores, and dehydration. These are all neglectful situations that can and should be prevented.
Nursing Home Neglect Lawsuit
When neglect has occurred it is often necessary to seek justice through the legal system. Nursing home neglect may not always be reported, making it more difficult to detect. However, whenever a nursing home resident has been diagnosed with a medical injury due to neglect the family or relatives should take action. The loved one should be treated immediately by a physician or transported to the hospital. The family needs to contact an attorney who specializes in nursing home neglect. Your attorney will investigate the situation and help determine that neglect or abuse has occurred.
Your loved one may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, money for pain and suffering, and other damages incurred because of the neglect. Contact the experienced legal team at Levin & Perconti to discuss your case today.
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