Articles Posted in Illinois Nursing Homes Abuse

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nursing home legionnaires disease

Medical Documents Show “Questionable” Record-Keeping Related to Legionnaires’ Disease Victim’s Care and Family’s Concerns Prior To Death

The family of Dolores French, one of the 13 residents of the Illinois Veterans Home who died from the horrific Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in 2015, recently spoke out to WBEZ reporter Dave McKinney after “newly obtained health documents related to her case demonstrated a litany of questionable procedural and record-keeping practices at Illinois’ largest state-run veterans’ home….”

French had only been a resident of the Quincy Veterans Home for six weeks when Adams County Coroner James Keller examined her already decomposing body, possibly of two days, on the floor in her room. Although state officials deny the claim, her family was told her body was not in a condition to be embalmed and an open-casket funeral would not be an option.

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Understaffing

Nursing Homes with Serious Deficiencies Are Often Poorly Staffed

An analysis of data from Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare website concluded that nurses and support care staff such as nursing assistants and aides are grossly understaffed at some of the most troubled homes in Illinois. This proves something the nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys of Levin & Perconti know all too well. Understaffed care facilities put unnecessary pressures on employees that often lead to mistakes, injuries, and deaths of nursing home residents in their charge. And although we hear of changes in administrative staff, and fines aimed to tighten and clarify procedures as a solution to the issue, many of these poor performing homes continue to receive their funding, remain understaffed and contribute to more cases of nursing home abuse and neglect than facilities that are equipped to provide sufficient care and services.

The Factors Behind Understaffing

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The story is one of the most tragic our nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys have heard in years. A series of horrifying acts of neglect on behalf of Aperion Care Moline resulted in the August strangulation death of a male resident. Multiple distress calls were made by the man’s roommate when he realized the now-deceased was entangled in the straps of his nightgown after they had become wrapped around the foot of his bed. It took nearly 20 minutes before a CNA finally arrived. Upon arrival, the CNA noticed the man had turned blue and was not breathing. Instead of offering immediate care to the strangled victim, Aperion Care Moline nursing staff wasted precious time attempting to figure out if the victim had a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order. He did not. According to an Illinois Department of Health investigation, the CNA rolled the man on his side and allegedly did not perform CPR because he was vomiting. By the time emergency medical personnel arrived, the patient was gone.

Upon learning of the incident this morning, Levin & Perconti spoke about the Aperion Care Moline strangulation death with a national CPR expert who teaches CPR to physicians, nurses, CNAs and laypeople across the country. Current CPR teaching indicates that in the event of vomiting, you must turn a patient’s head to clear their airway and once clear, begin CPR if the patient is not breathing. Vomiting is NOT cause to rule out CPR. It has also been reported that not all Aperion Care Moline CNAs were trained in CPR and that the facility did not have a fully stocked crash cart, missing both portable suction equipment and supplies needed to give an IV.

Levin & Perconti: Top Illinois Attorneys for Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

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A nursing home is required to provide quality care for our loved ones in their later years. All too often, however, nursing home negligence causes harm or even death to someone we love. A recent neglect lawsuit was filed by Levin & Perconti for the estate administrator of a woman who died. The woman had been residing in BRIA Health Services LLC where she allegedly developed a severe infection and died as a result. According to the information, the nursing home staff was negligent in her care and allowed her condition to deteriorate. The lawsuit names the nursing home along with Jackson Park Hospital and Medical Center alleging negligence and wrongful death.

Nursing Home Injuries

Nursing home injuries are more common than most people realize. Thousands of nursing home residents are been hurt or have died every year due to the negligent actions at a nursing home. Some of the most frequent nursing home injuries occur due to falls, medication mistakes, or bedsores. These are all issues that can and should be prevented. When the care workers do not take proper care of residents the result can be devastating. Nursing home neglect and abuse often go unreported.

Serious Infections
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A Medford, NY, nursing home corporation and staff plead guilty this week in court to covering up the circumstances of a 2012 resident’s death. The nursing facility corporation and nine employees were indicted after a whistleblower brought the wrongdoing to the attention of authorities. The plea includes payment of a $10,000 fine and settles the case.

2012 Nursing Home Death

In this case, the patient, a woman resident of the nursing home, died after the respiratory therapist forgot to reattach the ventilator at night. Subsequently, the nursing home allegedly covered up the wrongdoing. While the settlement brings closure to the case, it does not help resolve the fact that problems existed in the facility. This case brings to light the abuse and neglect that occur in many nursing homes across the country. Elder mistreatment is a worsening problem and one that is not always reported.
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A Minnesota nursing home worker was criminally charged with both neglect and disorderly conduct after an incident of alleged abuse against an Alzheimer’s patient. Two aides working with the woman observed the defendant hurting the elderly patient and using aggressive behavior and language while providing care. The abuse is a criminal misdemeanor and the woman faces up to two years in jail and fines of up to $6,000 if convicted.

Much Elder Abuse Goes Unreported

In this case, the other nursing home workers observed the abuse and reported it to the nursing home manager. In many instances, this does not happen. Often, the abuse occurs when there is nobody else present. All too many times, the patient is vulnerable and unable to make a report of the problem, so the crime goes unpunished. In addition to criminal charges, patients and their families have the right to seek damages from the nursing home because of the abuse. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), greater than 50% of nursing home staff said they had mistreated older patients, including physical violence, mental abuse, and neglect during the past year.
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The Elkhart Truth recently reported that a man went missing from a Wisconsin nursing home. The man simply walked away from the facility and has not been located. Unfortunately, situations such as this happen all too frequently, in nursing homes across the country. As children or relatives of the elderly, we trust that the care facility where our parent lives will be diligent in providing high quality care. Sometimes, proper elder care is not provided. If a patient is able to walk out of the door, the nursing home is responsible for the situation. Neglect is a form of abuse.

Nursing Home Problems

Nursing homes are often large facilities with many patients that require varying types of care. Nursing home patients may be in a range of states of failing health, both mental and physical. The facility must provide proper care for each patient, regardless of their situation. Some patients may be more prone to trying to leave than others. However, once a patient is able to “escape” from the home his or her fate may not be good. Minor problems are likely to happen at any type of hospital. However, if a patient goes missing from the location it is an extreme problem that requires immediate attention.
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Approximately a million and a half elderly Americans reside in nursing homes across the country. Unfortunately they sometimes encounter harsh abuse or unconscionable neglect at the hands of nursing home aides, nurses and other staffers, and this is often covered up or ignored by managers and administrators all in an effort to preserve the facility’s image to outside authorities and prospective customers.

What has been widely overlooked, however, is the threat posed by abuse between elderly residents at nursing homes. According to a Cornell-Weill Cornell Medical College study, as reported in the Cornell Chronicle, in 10 nursing home facilities in the state of New York, over the course of about one month, approximately 20% of the residents experienced at least some type of “aggressive encounter” by not a facility staffer, but another resident in the home. And much as abuse and neglect by nursing home staff can often be underreported and under-investigated, so is the abuse between residents themselves.
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As we have repeatedly addressed the issue of cameras in nursing homes remains a hot topic. As earlier noted Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s recently came out in support of legislation permitting nursing home residents and their families to install their own cameras in their own rooms. Stories continue to stream in that suggest a continuing need of using cameras to document abuse and neglect. Even more importantly, they may prevent mistreatment through deterrence of nursing home staffers who would think twice about abusing or neglecting a patient knowing it could all be captured on hidden tape. Several states have already moved to make such permission lawful. While Florida is not one of them, sad and unfortunate news of abuse being caught on tape could spur yet another state to at least consider the possibility.

Criminal Charges after Abuse

As recently reported, two nursing assistants, both certified for the profession, were criminally charged with battery. The abuse was perpetrated on a 76 year old patient who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. Thus this case also exemplifies the mix of physical and mental challenges that many nursing home residents face in concert and also shows how vulnerable residents are particularly where they are mentally impaired and so easy to take advantage of in any situation.
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A lawsuit has been brought against a nursing home for negligent treatment of a patient that is claimed to have contributed to her death just one month later. The family of an 84 year old patient at this upstate facility has filed a complaint seeking $2 million in damages for this woman’s death, including payback for medical expenses as well as funeral expenses.

According to the local Times-Union, the patient resident allegedly punched a nursing aide in the face. The patient suffered from dementia, which was a principal reason for her residing at the facility. In response to this punch, the nursing aid allegedly bent the resident’s arm behind her back, resulting in breaking that arm. A New York State Health Department report on the incident stated that the nursing aide smacked the patient in the face with her own incontinence brief. As if to add insult to injury, the nursing aide was required to continue to stay with the resident for the next several hours because apparently there was no one available to take over. It is not clear whether this was a result of understaffing or if management simply did not actively try to reassign someone else to cover the resident. This, too, may have demonstrated a negligence in leaving a person who allegedly abused a patient, in spite of what that patient may have done, still in charge of that patient. As the article reports, two other nursing supervisors allegedly ignored the patient for 12 hours in spite of her pleas for assistance. Only later was she taken to a hospital.
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