We expect that our elderly relatives will be properly cared for when they live in nursing homes, but that is not always the case. Sometimes neglect occurs. When it does it can impact the health and well-being of the residents. There are various types of neglect including failure to notice a medical condition, failure to get medical attention for a patient, and mistakes with medication.
Inadequate supervision is often to blame for the medical decline of residents in nursing homes. Staff members may not be properly trained or may not have enough time to spend with patients, or they may simply not care. When a nursing home resident is not properly monitored they could suffer a medical condition that is not reported. Many common types of injuries or conditions require medical attention.
Medical Conditions that Require Attention
Nursing home staff needs to understand the various signs of medical problems so they can be reported and treated. Some of the most prevalent conditions in nursing homes include pressure ulcers, bruises, broken bones, malnutrition, and infections. These problems can be particularly serious in the elderly. When a condition is not diagnosed or treated in a timely manner it can worsen and in some instances may even lead to death.
Failure to Report Medical Problems
The failure to report medical problems is a form of nursing home neglect. The patient may not be able to request help or may not realize that a medical condition exists. Staff must be watchful for changes in the physical condition of a patient so they can be examined immediately if there are problems. Fast treatment could help the resident recover from the condition more quickly and with fewer complications.
Residents Must Have Access to Physicians
Nursing home residents have their own physicians; however, they may not be quickly alerted to medical conditions. The nursing home staff members should not be allowed to provide medical advice or treatment unless they are certified medical professionals. The patient’s own doctor should always be alerted to any problem with a patient, even if the condition seems minor. Only the resident’s physician should diagnose and treat any medical situations that occur.
Failure to Provide Medication
Nursing homes may not always administer resident’s medications as directed. This can happen when the medication must be taken at specific intervals or times. The staff must understand the prescriptions that a patient is taking and provide them to the resident using the precise instructions given by the doctor. All too often, caregivers forget to give patients their medicine or do not provide it as indicated. Also, patients may run out of medication when the nursing home staff members fail to advise that a refill is required. When medication is skipped it can create serious medical problems for the patient.
Medical neglect is never appropriate. If a nursing home made mistakes or failed to seek medical treatment when necessary, the resident could be severely injured. In some cases, the resident’s medical condition could worsen and complications or death may result. If your loved one was seriously hurt due to nursing home neglect call the skilled legal team at Levin & Perconti to schedule a consultation.
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