A resident at the Thomas Herbstritt House in Momence, Illinois was hospitalized with multiple serious conditions. He subsequently died in the hospital. The nursing home confirmed that there was no investigation into the man’s death. Nursing homes are required to conduct a comprehensive investigation into any unexplained death. This requirement includes residents who pass away in a hospital.
It’s not hard to guess why the nursing home hesitated to conduct an investigation into the man’s condition. The victim, a 58-year-old man with an IQ of 12 was unable to speak but could communicate with rudimentary gestures and hand movements. He could walk short distances and follow simple instructions.
When he was hospitalized shortly before his death, the Emergency Department (ED) physician diagnosed him with dehydration, anemia, pneumonia, fecal impaction and myxedema coma (a dangerous thyroid condition). The official cause of death was the pneumonia.
It seems clear that the number and severity of his conditions indicates an extended period of nursing home neglect. The diagnosis of dehydration is particularly damning. No resident should ever become dehydrated. Dehydration is an extremely dangerous condition because it leads to a host of other conditions. It’s very possible that the fecal impaction as well as the other conditions were caused, directly or indirectly, by the dehydration.
A wrongful death takes place when nursing homes fail to take action, and that lack of action results in the death of a resident. It’s possible that the failure to ensure that the resident at Thomas Herbstritt Home was taking in the appropriate amount of food and water made the resident a victim of a wrongful death.
If you have a loved one who has passed away in an Illinois nursing home, and you think they may have suffered a wrongful death as a result of nursing home neglect, our Chicago nursing home lawyers can help. Contact the Law Offices of Barry G. Doyle for a free and confidential evaluation of your case.