A tragic failure of care at the Lebanon Care Center in Lebanon, Illinois resulted in the wrongful death of a young man suffering from myotonic muscular dystrophy, pneumonia, and neuromuscular dysphagia (difficulty or inability to swallow).
A physician treating the patient in Lebanon, Illinois ordered a tracheostomy (trach) be performed to ease breathing. A trach is, in brief, an incision made in the neck to access the windpipe. A tube is inserted into the exposed breathing passage that allows the patient to breath without using his or her nose or mouth. It’s a procedure frequently shown in dramatic television or movie scenes.
When a physician orders a trach for a nursing home resident, the facility needs to follow a strict policy to ensure the safety of the resident. In this case, the facility had failed to properly train their employees on how to sterilize the equipment used to ensure that the patient’s airway was kept clear.
The Lebanon Care Center staff also failed to notify the man’s physician when the need to clean the patient’s airway increased from once an hour to every half hour. That’s a dramatic increase that should have immediately been conveyed to emergency medical personnel.
Another critical act of nursing home neglect was the failure of Lebanon Care Center staff to report the resident’s oxygen intake with each cleaning. The patient’s oxygen reached dangerously low levels numerous times. Not a single episode was reported.
Records obtained by the state showed that there wasn’t a registered nurse on duty for the majority of time between Christmas and New Year’s Day, the time period when the incident was taking place.
If you have a loved one who has passed away at Lebanon Care Center or any Illinois nursing home, and you feel their death was caused by nursing home neglect or abuse, you can contact my law offices for a free and confidential evaluation of your case.