Nursing home residents deserve respect and access to a quality of life that upholds their many years of life. That said, some nursing home residents are vulnerable not only to health complications but to mistreatment. In some cases, mistreatment or neglect in a nursing home can result in a resident’s wrongful death.
Some of the causes of nursing home death include:
- Medical errors
- Abuse or neglect
The conditions leading to these deaths can entail elder mistreatment while an elder is in the care of a medical professional. If you believe that your loved one fell victim to mistreatment in a nursing home prior to her death, you can work with a lawyer to build your case and discuss your legal options.
The Impact of Sepsis on Nursing Home Residents
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that sepsis is a reactionary state brought on by a person’s immune system. As a person’s immune system tries to protect them from the infections that can complicate bedsores and other problems, it will overreact and deteriorate.
This deterioration occurs in three stages, according to BMC Infectious Diseases:
- Stage One – the patient develops a fever, or her body temperature drops below 95 degrees. A person’s resting heart rate will also be higher than normal.
- Stage Two – the patient exhibits more difficulty breathing and may report stomach pain, or she may begin to develop problems with her memory.
- Stage Three – the patient will enter a state of shock, with her blood pressure dropping to the point where it may seem impossible to raise. The patient may be minimally responsive but is more likely than in the other stages to succumb to her infection.
If a nursing home resident survives a bout of sepsis, they may fall victim to post-sepsis syndrome, which can induce a state that can be just as fatal as sepsis itself.
The Signs of Sepsis
As mentioned, the first signs of sepsis include a sharp drop in body temperature or fluctuations into a fever. According to Medline Plus, sepsis tends to reveal itself when a person begins to experience the following:
- Gastrointestinal infections
- Respiratory problems
- Urinary tract infections
Keep in mind that these symptoms can also indicate other conditions.
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Falls and Nursing Home Deaths
According to the National Institute on Aging (NIA), older people can suffer serious medical conditions after a fall. Nursing home residents may also struggle with coordination while trying to make their way through their residence. Falls in a nursing home most often result from:
- Inappropriate footwear
- Slippery floors
- Uneven surfaces
- Weakness, lack of exercise, or trouble walking
If you believe that a loved one has suffered injury or death due to the lack of cleanliness in a nursing home or to deterioration that can be traced to individual neglect, you may have a legal case on your hands.
According to Quality and Safety in Health Care, medical errors occur frequently in nursing homes, and some cause fatalities. Medical errors often involve medications for the following needs:
- Blood pressure
- Thyroid disease
- Blood clots
- Digestive issues
Caretakers may also make medical errors while caring for patients with dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, or mental health disorders.
If you believe that someone in your care has fallen victim to a medical error while in a nursing home, you may discuss legal action with a medical malpractice lawyer in your area. Nursing home residents require a specific quality of care in accordance with your state’s law, and failing to meet that standard can entitle you or your loved one being cared for to compensation.
Abuse or Neglect in Nursing Homes
Nursing home negligence and abuse constitute a deliberate violation of a standard of care to which nursing home residents are entitled. Negligence in a nursing home can include:
- Deliberately ignoring patients in need
- Failure to provide patients with appropriate medications
- Overall neglect of patient hygiene or day-to-day needs
- Physical abuse
If this abuse goes unnoticed, it can result in the long-term harm and death of the victim. Signs of nursing home abuse and negligence include:
- Unexplained broken bones or fractures
- Avoidance tactics where none were previously exhibited
- Excessive sleeping or lack of sleep
- New and unhealthy eating habits
- The sudden onset of anxiety or depression
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Seek Legal Help for Your Case
If you believe someone you love fell victim to one of the causes of nursing home death noted here, the team with Ben Crump Law, PLLC can discuss your legal options with you. We do not shy away from tough cases and can help you establish a case for compensation that respects the suffering endured by all injured parties. You can reach us at (800) 959-1444.