COVID-19 in Nursing Homes - Learn More.

Articles Posted in Nursing Home Negligence

nursing home understaffing dire

The Chronic Problems Related to Understaffed Nursing Homes

Deliberate understaffing is a common practice in nursing homes across the U.S., and especially here in Illinois, where nearly 70% of all long-term care networks are for-profit owned. When facilities are privately owned and operated, owners become more concerned about profits than having the right amount of staff available to provide quality patient care. According to a 2018-2019 report prepared by the Department of Health and Human Services, an incredible 90% of U.S. facilities are understaffed. The findings were documented by evidence through payroll records that showed nursing homes were underreporting staffing challenges.

Worker shortages contribute to nursing home struggles that sometimes lead to preventable hospitalizations, injuries, or deaths. Risky cost-cutting measures and unethical practices are creating a ripple of adverse effects that nursing home residents ultimately pay for.

nursing home global impact covid-19

Analysis of COVID-19 Long-Term Care Deaths in 17 Countries

The Canadian Institute for Health Information performed an analysis using data collected (report as of May 25, 2020) from 17 countries to show the similarities and differences between coronavirus pandemic experiences related to long-term care. The review focused on three specific areas of comparison:

  1. COVID-19 outcomes in LTC (cases and deaths)

heat strokes at nursing homes

Nursing Homes Should Identify Signs of Heat Stroke in Residents Before It’s Too Late

Elderly nursing home residents, without the appropriate indoor cooling areas, can negatively react to high-temperature exposures and become especially at risk for heat stroke or heat stress injuries. Heat stroke is a serious condition that can cause seizures, fluid retention, brain damage, dehydration, cardiac-related events, and even death. When a nursing home is not prepared to manage residents in the heat, residents will suffer.

To identify any heat-related illness, nursing home staff should watch out for:

covid-19 update july 2020

FAQ: July 2020 COVID-19 Update for Illinois Nursing Home Families

As of July 10th, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has reported 23,324 laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases and 3,895 deaths among all Illinois long-term care (LTC) facilities, not just outbreaks. These numbers reflect over half of all coronavirus cases tied to long-term care facilities, including nursing homes and assisted living centers.

Because of the ill-preparedness and disastrous response to the pandemic by several nursing home owners and operators, the attorneys at Levin & Perconti have launched more than 100 investigations regarding gross negligence related to COVID-19 outbreaks in Illinois. And as part of our work as elder care advocates, we have provided answers and legal solutions to concerned family members and nursing home workers since the pandemic began.

inspection for nursing homes

How To Read a Nursing Home Inspection Survey To Identify Abuse or Neglect

All nursing home providers participating in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) program must meet Federal reporting requirements as well as state laws as they relate to the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act. Homes must also remain in substantial compliance to remain in operation and be evaluated for care standards through annual surveys and inspections. It is expected that any recorded violation will then be addressed promptly and residents will no longer be at risk from those noted deficiencies.

Families can review a website published by CMS called Nursing Home Compare. Here, they can access quality of care information for every nursing home that participates in Medicare and Medicaid in Illinois. Nursing Home Compare provides an overall star rating based on three factors: health inspections, staffing levels, and quality measures, but also includes the results of recent health inspections.

covid-19 cases at tillers of oswego nursing home

Symphony at the Tillers of Oswego releases COVID-19 statistics showing 46 COVID infections and 9 deaths.  Levin & Perconti, Illinois nursing home lawyers launch investigation into gross negligence in preventing the spread of COVID-19

On June 12. 2020, Symphony at the Tillers of Oswego, located in Oswego, IL, released long term care outbreak data reporting of laboratory confirmed COVID-19 outbreak cases.  These statics confirm that 46 infections and 9 deaths have occurred at the facility during the COVID-19 outbreak.

News Article

morgan park center covid-19 infections

Symphony of Morgan Park releases COVID-19 statistics showing 194 COVID infections and 22 deaths.  Levin & Perconti, Illinois nursing home lawyers launch investigation into gross negligence in preventing the spread of COVID-19.

On June 5, 2020, Symphony of Morgan Park, located in Chicago, IL, released long term care outbreak data reporting of laboratory confirmed COVID-19 outbreak cases.  These statics confirm that 194 infections and 22 deaths have occurred at the facility during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Quarterly Reports:

covid-19 cases in cass county

Cass County Reports Increased COVID-19 Risk Sparked by Outbreak at Unnamed Nursing Home

COVID-19 continues to plague Illinois long-term care facilities, including nursing homes. And as Illinois approaches Phase 4 of its reopening measures, Cass County, located in central Illinois, is the only county reporting a significant increase in COVID-19 risks to residents. The Illinois Department of Health (IDPH) has been monitoring several indicators that measure the health burden of COVID-19 in each county. For the reporting period of June 14 through June 20, Cass County’s case rate was 191 per 100,000, well above the 50 per 100,000 preferred target. An estimated 20 new cases have been linked to a long-term care facility, as confirmed by IDPH.

The new cases include:

covid-19 statistics uptown health center

Uptown Health Center releases COVID-19 statistics showing 122 COVID infections and 17 deaths.  Levin & Perconti, Illinois nursing home lawyers launch investigation into gross negligence in preventing the spread of COVID-19

On June 12, 2020, Uptown Health Center, located in Chicago, IL, released long term care outbreak data reporting of laboratory confirmed COVID-19 outbreak cases.  These statics confirm that 122 infections and 17 deaths have occurred at the facility during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Quarterly Violations

antipsychotic drugs causing further injury

Drug Overuse Is Prevalent in Nursing Home Residents with Alzheimer’s

Antipsychotic drugs are sometimes given to patients living in long-term care facilities to calm behaviors associated with Alzheimer’s or memory and behavior illnesses. They are also overly prescribed to residents who may be marked unruly or disruptive. Care staff are known to seek out specific medications to make these patients easier to handle, or quiet them and make them sleepy. Doctors may rely heavily on the recommendation of nurses and other care staff when making these medication decisions.

These drugs can be dangerous when used without a physician or family’s knowledge or consent, a haphazard tactic given that the mismanagement of these drugs has been known to cause sudden death. This practice, also known as chemical restraint, is unfortunately not new although Federal law prohibits the use of antipsychotic drugs or psychoactive drugs solely for the convenience of medical staff, and to sedate a patient. Additionally, consent must be given in order to use chemical restraints.

Lawyer Monthly - Legal Awards Winner
The National Trial Lawyers
Elder Care Matters Alliance
American Association for Justice
Fellow Litigation Counsel of America
Super Lawyers
Contact Information