Two residents at the Granite Nursing and Rehabilitation nursing home in Granite City, Illinois were so dehydrated that they required hospitalization. One of the residents, a woman suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart failure, and kidney disease among other long term conditions died as a direct result of the extreme dehydration. She also had a urinary tract infection. Her initial assessment indicated that she was pleasant and cooperative.
Three days later, she was struck by a bout of nausea, vomiting, and constipation. The nurse’s note indicates that she “consumed 120 cc’s all shift.” 120 cubic centimeters of water is only about four ounces.
The next day, the resident only consumed 100 cc of water. An average woman should be consuming up to 2000 cc of water every day. Nursing homes are required to ensure that all residents receive an adequate fluid intake. Failure to take action when a resident is becoming severely dehydrated is grounds for a nursing home neglect lawsuit.
The next day, the resident had trouble breathing. A nurse practitioner for the nursing home ordered a urinalysis that returned blood urea nitrogen and creatinine levels that were critically high. The resident was rushed to the hospital and passed away two days later.
Everyone knows that our bodies primarily consist of water. But while other aspects of nursing home neglect have obvious symptoms, for families with loved ones in nursing homes, dehydration is extremely difficult to detect.
Dehydration occurs quickly. People usually succumb to dehydration in a week to ten days. Some symptoms of dehydration include swollen eyelids, swollen or very red tongue, and exhaustion.
If you suspect that your loved one is not getting sufficient fluids, you should notify his or her doctor immediately. Nursing homes are obligated to track daily intake of food and water. If the nursing home cannot tell you exactly how much fluid your resident is taking, that nursing home is guilty of nursing home neglect.
If you have a loved one who has been hospitalized for extreme dehydration in an Illinois nursing home, contact our Chicago nursing home lawyers for a free and confidential evaluation of your case.