Articles Posted in Nursing Home Medical Malpractice

A second nursing home abuse and neglect and medical malpractice lawsuit has been filed against a nursing home. The complaint alleges that the nursing home fails to supervise residents and allows them to fall. This lawsuit comes after a resident died after multiple falls. After the first fall, the nursing home was required to do the following: provide the resident with a bed or wheelchair alarm, provide the resident with well-fitting and skid-proof footwear, and provide physical assistance for the resident during each and every transfer. The nursing home failed to do all of the above in this case of nursing home abuse and neglect.

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Illnesses, injuries and infections caused by medical mistakes or negligence in hospitals will no longer be covered by Medicare, the government health insurance program for senior citizens. This new initiative can save the lives and wellbeing of patients because it will make doctors and hospitals more accountable for preventable errors and force them to adhere more closely to policies and procedures. Private insurers are considering implementing a similar policy, which could save Americans money.

The preventable conditions that will not be covered by Medicare include surgical tools left inside patients after surgery, incompatible blood or air embolisms, bedsores or pressure ulcers developed during a hospital stay, injuries resulting from falls in the hospital, and infections caused by extended use of catheters in blood vessels or the bladder and infections at a surgical site after coronary artery bypass surgery. Some hospital spokesmen have expressed concerns that, for instance, bedsores are sometimes unpreventable. The conditions that have been chosen to be excluded from Medicare coverage are not arbitrary, however. They have been chosen by experts that believe they can be reasonably prevented. Levin & Perconti, for example, settled a case for $1 million recently when a nursing home claimed that a patient’s severe pressure sores were not avoidable. The patient, however, was able to completely recover when moved to a different facility. The included injuries were chosen by experts and stand as federal recognition that they are avoidable and can be prevented by stronger adherence to policies and procedures.

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A 72-year-old woman was awarded $1.27 million in a medical malpractice lawsuit against a hospital as a result of her leg being amputated to the knee when it became infected with maggots 18 days after surgery on her foot. A nursing home doctor discovered hundreds of maggots in her wound. The woman’s lawyer alleged that the gauze for her wound was changed but that the wound was not cleaned. The woman said she was pleased with the verdict because the negligence of the nursing home and hospital caused her permanent disfigurement and that she needed the money because she became so completely dependent on others.

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In the face of “tort reform” and noneconomic damages caps, a jury awarded $4.1 million last Wednesday in a nursing home medical malpractice lawsuit. The jury awarded the money for pain, suffering, and other claims to the family of the victim who was found with bedsores, an undiagnosed hip fracture, and other problems. Awards of high damages are fueling a renewed effort in state legislatures to pass a bill capping damage awards. However, justice suffers when “tort reform” is pushed. The attorney for the plaintiff in this case stated that if wrongdoers cannot be punished financially, bad nursing homes and hospitals guilty of nursing home abuse and neglect and medical malpractice have little incentive to improve. He correctly stated “We don’t need tort reform. We need medical malpractice reform. We need nursing home reform.”

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A nursing home in Edwardsville, Illinois will soon be expanding its services, offering a new line in rehabilitation services. The new services include the use of new electrical stimulation machines that use electrodes to treat and improve muscles suffering from injury, swelling, or atrophy.

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The 87 year-old retired detective died at a medical center after a series of hospitalizations for large ulcers that covered his body. After enduring a stroke a decade ago, the 87 year-old entered a nursing home. In March 2003, the nursing home began to persistently neglect him, failing to prevent massive bedsores from developing. At one point, the nursing home even put a shoe on the retired detective to hide a foot ulcer! During a stay at a hospital, the 87 year-old also was a victim of medical malpractice when a doctor gave him an overdose of a blood thinner. Because of this medication dosing error, the man had to undergo a blood transfusion. The victim’s daughter is holding the nursing home accountable for its nursing home abuse and neglect and also filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the hospital .

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An annual conference on ensuring quality in long-term care will be hosted by the National Citizens’ Coalition for Nursing Home Reform (NCCNHR) on October 22-24. The NCCNHR is an advocate in the fight against nursing home abuse and neglect. Its conference features networking opportunities, interactive and educational sessions, and presentations by nationally recognized experts, including Erin Brockovich.

To register for the Conference.

The death of a 94 year-old woman due to numerous injuries caused by being pulled out of bed was recently ruled a homicide by the Medical Examiner’s office. When the victim was pulled out of bed in May 2005, she incurred many injuries, including a broken femur. Her death resulted from complications stemming from the injuries. The family of the 94 year-old woman has brought a nursing home negligence lawsuit against the facility, charging that the facility should have protected the 94 year-old from the person who caused the injuries.

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Crain’s Business quoted Steve Levin of the law firm Levin & Perconti this week for a case he is working on. The case involves a 71-year-old man who developed pressure ulcers, or bed sores, during two extended stays at Advocate Trinity Hospital last fall.

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Consumer Reports Web Watch and the Health Improvement Institute have recently released a joint venture in Heathratings.org created for consumers to know which health information websites are the most reliable and credible.

The service is free and it ranks sites like WebMD, Yahoo! Health and MayoClinic.com.

To try the service, click here.

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