A young woman from the Chicago area died recently, four days after she went to a local hospital for chest pains. The hospital discharged the woman and sent her to a nearby nursing home where she died two days later. Now, her father has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against this assisted living facility as well as some of the doctors who cared for his daughter. It appears that nursing home neglect may have been a factor in this tragedy.
Apparently, while she was in its care, the nursing home gave the woman 10 different kinds of drugs. Some of the drugs included a powerful pain medicine. The woman's autopsy revealed no other possible cause of death, and the report suggested that the death was due to "combined drug intoxication."
A nursing home has a duty to provide adequate medical care to its residents. If a nursing home does not live up to this obligation, it may exacerbate patients' medical problems or even kill them. If a patient suffers injury or death from a nursing home's negligence, then he or she or surviving family members may be entitled to bring suit to recover damages.
One of a nursing home's many duties is to ensure that its residents get the right kinds and amounts of medication. When that does not happen, like in this case, a resident may die or suffer serious injury. Nursing homes need to keep track of a resident's medications in order to avoid dangerous interactions between drugs, and they also need to be certain of a resident's diagnosis in order to ensure that the resident is getting the proper medicine for his or her ailment.
Not all people who go to nursing homes are senior citizens, but all of them nonetheless deserve proper care during a nursing home stay.
Source: Joliet, IL Patch, "Father Sues Over 24-year-old Joliet Daughter's Death," Joseph Hosey, Nov. 19, 2012