Losing a loved one, regardless of whether the death was due to an accident or natural causes, is a traumatic experience for anybody. If the death was caused by the errors of skilled nursing home personnel, the trauma is escalated. New Mexico residents who must have elderly family members admitted to facilities where around-the-clock treatment is provided may agree that the standard of care is their primary concern. Unfortunately, nursing home neglect is often the subject of charges filed against facilities that profess to provide skilled care for the elderly.
The son of a deceased mother, in his capacity as representative of the estate, recently filed a lawsuit against a nursing home in another state. His mother died only three days after she was admitted to the facility in June of 2013. He states that she was 82 years old and suffered from several conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes and hypertension. In addition, she had problems with swallowing and aspiration pneumonia.
The complaint states that admission documents clearly stated procedures to accommodate the feeding and swallowing difficulties but listed no plan to monitor or prevent the potential respiratory problems. According to the lawsuit, a nurse recorded the patient’s breathing to sound wheezy on the afternoon of the day following admission. When the same nurse monitored her condition after two hours, a rise in blood pressure and the temperature was documented. Apparently, feeding through the gastrostomy tube was suspended and oxygen was administered.
Within another two hours, another nurse found the patient to be unresponsive and instructed the primary nurse to request an ambulance. However, after checking on the status of the ambulance, it was discovered that the primary nurse called for a regular ambulance that was not scheduled to arrive for about an hour. An emergency ambulance was subsequently requested, and it came instantly to transfer the patient to another facility; but, despite aggressive treatment, she passed away two days later. Her son alleges nursing home neglect and seeks damages of $200,000 to $1 million to cover financial losses. New Mexico residents who have lost loved ones due to inadequate nursing home care may consult with experienced attorneys to have the viability of civil claims assessed.
Source: setexasrecord.com, “Nursing home accused of negligence in woman’s last hours“, Dan Harkins, May 1, 2015