Delaying medical treatment in nursing homes can cause a resident's health to worsen. This common form of nursing home abuse can have deadly consequences for individuals in elder care facilities. When delayed treatments cause injury or wrongful death, nursing home neglect lawyers can help victims pursue claims of neglect and abuse against the perpetrator(s).
Duty of Care in Nursing Homes
Registered nurses, certified nursing assistants, doctors, and administrators have a duty of care to the people within their facilities. That includes administering prompt and proper treatment. When they neglect their duty, they put the health of nursing home residents at risk. Delaying medical treatment can lead to premature mortality.
When treatment is delayed, it can exacerbate existing health problems and lead to the formation of new problems. Residents whose care is neglected are at elevated risk of strokes, heart attacks, cancer progression, diabetic complications, bone fractures, and other complications. These complications can make treatment of the injury or disease more difficult which increases the individual's pain and suffering. It also increases the potential that they will succumb to their injury or illness. When a facility is guilty of neglect, they are liable for the wrongful death their actions caused.
Nursing Home Care Act in Illinois
The Nursing Home Care Act requires nursing homes to provide timely treatment to all individuals within their facility. The purpose of the law is to ensure that residents receive prompt treatment for bone fractures and other injuries, treatment that can help prevent infections, and care that can stabilize, slow, or reverse the progression of disease.
Causes & Cover-ups of Delayed Treatment
Treatment can be delayed due to understaffing, improper reading of medical charts, or misdiagnosing a resident's health status. In some cases, treatment may be delayed as retaliation for perceived slights or transgressions on the part of the nursing home resident.
Whatever the reason or cause, nursing home facilities often attempt to hide their negligence. They may do this through the deliberate transfer of a resident or by "doctoring" the individual's health records. These attempts at covering up the neglect and minimizing the impact on the individual are often transparent and easily uncovered by nursing home neglect lawyers.