Articles Posted in Medical Conditions

A panel of nutrition experts has released new definitions for malnutrition that will be universally applicable. McKnights Long-Term Care News & Assisted Living is reporting that these new definitions will help clinicians and healthcare workers identify and treat malnutrition. Researchers had decided to develop new definitions because there was a lack of generally agreed upon terms for the numerous forms and causes of malnutrition. There are now three categories of adult nutrition: starvation-related, chronic disease-related or acute disease/injury-related. These categories can now include all the major causes of malnutrition. These are important clarifications considering a 2000 study found that between 25% and 85% of nursing home residents are considered malnourished. The new definitions were accumulated by ESPEN and ASPEN. They will be published in the journals Clinical Nutrition and JPEN. To read about the new definitions, please check out the link.

Malnutrition or dehydration can cause many problems in elderly residents. These health conditions include tooth decay, broken bones, anemia and low blood pressure. Severe cases can even lead to death. These ailments can oftentimes be easily prevented if the residents are properly fed and nourished. Many times residents who are suffering from depression will become malnourished. Some experts also believe that residents become malnourished due to a lack of adequately trained personnel. Poor staffing is often the root of most nursing home abuse problems. It is the duty of all nursing homes to ensure that not only they have a sufficient number of staff members, but that these staff members are properly trained to deal with the complexities of the elderly. If you believe that you or a loved one resides in a Chicago-area or Illinois nursing home with inadequate staffing, please confront the nursing home about this problem. If this poor level of staffing has lead to nursing home abuse, consult a nursing home lawyer.

A woman wrongfully died at a nursing home after employees administered her a drug that caused more than half of her skin to peel off. The woman filed a nursing negligence lawsuit against 17 defendants, whom she blames for repeatedly giving the victim a drug that caused her to experience a severe allergic reaction. The lawsuit claims that the nurses should have known of the victim’s allegories, including her allergy to sulfa drugs, but failed to include her allegories on an admission and assessment form. They administered the drug to treat bronchitis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. However, the nursing home lawsuit claims that it was a direct and proximate result of that negligent act that caused the victim to develop multiple large open areas in the skin. Also portions of her skin were sloughed off and she developed red blistering. This caused extreme pain and suffering and she was admitted to a burn unit where she died. To read more from the nursing home lawsuit, please click the link.

Several nursing homes may have provided powerful prescription drugs such as Fentanyl and OxyContin to patients without a doctor’s authorization which is a violation of federal rules. The drugs were in labeled “emergency kit boxes” intended for use when a doctor is not available or when a patient is waiting for a prescription to be filled. Federal rules on dispensing drugs were not followed, including rules on filing required paperwork. While such kits are standard in many nursing homes, concern has been rising about whether the medication in such kits is being monitored closely enough. These create a chance of medical mistakes and stolen drugs. The nursing homes are still under investigation for supposed nursing home abuse. The investigation has revealed that a patient was given Fentanyl without a written prescription because of a emergency situation. If you are worried about a nursing home’s emergency drugs, consult an Illinois lawyer. To read more about the nursing home negligence, please click the link.

A family filed an elderly negligence suit against a nursing home physician claiming that the doctor was negligent in prescribing a medication for her. The physician took the stand and testified that the family called months later asking for the exact medication in order to curb’s the woman’s anxiety. The nursing home negligence lawsuit alleges that the medication, Haldol, contributed to the victim’s immobility and bedsores while she was living at a nursing home. The plaintiff alleged the pressure ulcer required surgery and could have been prevented. The nursing home negligence lawsuit claims that the prescription decreased her motor activity. To read more about the nursing home lawsuit, please click the link.

Putting flesh-eating maggots into open wounds has not been found to be helpful. The maggots do clean wounds more quickly than normal treatment, yet this does not lead to faster healing. A study shows that this “so-called” larval therapy more painful. Maggots do have a long history in medicine. Recently they have been used to prevent dangerous infections like methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureas (MRSA). The study recruited 267 patients with venuous leg ulcers and treated them either with maggots or hydrogel and found no significant difference in outcomes or cost. Maggots may seem to have advantages in some specialized areas, such as preparing patients for skin grafts, where faster wound cleaning means patients can be moved into surgery more swiftly. Larval therapy works because maggots eat only dead and rotting tissue, leaving a clean wound. These maggots do not burrow into healthy flesh, presumed to eat each other when they run out of food. This study will have an impact on the treatment of elderly patients. To read more about the study, please click the link.

A nursing home has been fined $80,000 after investigators determined a patient died because of the staff’s nursing home neglect. The staff failed to follow the resident’s dietary needs. The 54 year-old resident was supposed to be restricted to soft foods and died when he choked on a meatball. The state regulators cited the nursing home for the nursing home neglect.

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Elder abuse and neglect is widespread in today’s nursing homes and long-term care facilities. The failure to prevent falls among the elderly is one of the most common examples of negligence in nursing homes. Many of the falls that cause death or serious injury among elderly nursing home patients are, in fact, preventable. Patients should be evaluated on neurological status, debilitating diseases, drug status, mental state, sensory deficits, history of falls, and age. If they are deemed at any risk for falls, homes and facilities should take extra precaution to prevent injury. An at-risk patient should be escorted to the bathroom or frequently offered the use of a bedpan, for instance. Failure to supervise elderly at-risk patients could result in falls with serious consequences. Every elderly patient is entitled to proper and attentive care, and the prevention of falls is a responsibility of every nursing home and health care facility.

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Alzheimer’s Disease is common in nursing home populations. Loved ones of a nursing home resident suffering from the disease need to ensure that the resident is properly cared for. Nursing home residents may be prone to wandering and elopement if they are suffering from the disease. Nursing homes supervision of elderly residents is crucial to prevent elder resident injuries and elder resident accidents. There are several warning signs that can help a loved one to determine if someone they know is suffering from the disease. These warning signs can alert one to seek proper medical attention for a nursing home resident. The warning signs promulgated by the Alzheimer’s Association are as follows:
1) Memory Loss 2) Difficulty performing familiar tasks 3) Problems with language 4) Disorientation to time and place 5) Poor or decreased judgment 6) Problems with abstract thinking 7) Misplacing things 8) Changes in mood or behavior 9) Changes in Personality and 10) Loss of initiative
To learn more about the disease check out information on the official Alzheimer’s Association site.

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