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Nursing home neglect leads to resident's death

The decision to place a loved one in a nursing home is never an easy choice but one that often must be made for the family member's best interest. Unfortunately, in spite of the best intentions, there may still be cases of nursing home neglect that can lead to a resident suffering harm or even death. Pennsylvania families do have resources to turn to if they fear a loved one has suffered harm in a facility.

One recent case led to a resident dying from suspected neglect. The 58-year-old man was suffering from severe liver disease unrelated to alcohol use. He also suffered from cognitive impairment and required close supervision from the nursing staff. However, up until shortly before his death, the man did not have a known history of seizures. However, he presented with seizure activity that escalated quickly.

An alarmed family member summoned the nurse on duty and requested pain medication for the resident. The nurse reportedly displayed indifference to the patient's condition and stated that there was no standing order for the resident to receive any pain medication. In spite of the family member again requesting help for the man after he suffered another seizure, the nurse on duty did not return to the resident's room. 

When the shift changed, the new duty nurse administered pain medication and the seizures reportedly came to an end. Unfortunately, the man died shortly afterward. The nursing home administration terminated the first nurse's employment after the situation came to light. The same home had been under careful monitoring in the past when several issues needed to be corrected. Any time a Pennsylvania family member suspects that nursing home neglect or abuse has occurred, he or she may wish to contact an elder law attorney who can help ensure that no further harm is inflicted and that the guilty parties are held accountable through monetary sanctions in addition to any criminal charges that officials may pursue.

Source: kstp.com, "Waite Park Care Center Nurse Facing Allegations of Neglect after Resident Dies", Rebecca Omastiak and Jessica Miles, March 23, 2017

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Robert Peirce & Associates, P.C.
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