In many ways, medical facilities are run like a military unit. Doctors and nurses who have known each other for decades, have attended each other’s weddings, and celebrated the birth of their children will automatically refer to each other as “Doctor” and “Nurse” when they’re in a medical setting. It’s a system that works because, in an emergency, everyone needs to know what to do.
Even though a nursing home isn’t a hospital, and certainly not a military unit, “Panic” is one of those words that should be universal. When someone in a professional situation tells you to “panic,” that would indicate to me that I should be ringing an alarm bell or seeking high ground.
And yet, the staff at Forest Villa in Niles, Illinois, received laboratory results for one of their residents that registered “High Panic” and they did not notify the resident’s physician. In fact, three lab results registered as “high panic.” Still, they did not notify the resident’s physician. It’s difficult to imagine how any staff could be so poorly trained and incompetently managed to make that decision. As a result, a resident suffered a wrongful death that never needed to happen.
The incident began as many do: a nursing home fall.
Often nursing home falls are the impetus for many wrongful deaths. The effects can be instantaneous or take days to fully materialize. The resident was an 88-year-old man with deep vein thrombosis. 72 hours after the fall, bruising developed and he was transferred to a local Niles, Illinois hospital.
It was after returning to the Forest Villa nursing home that the laboratory results labeled “high panic” were returned. The physician was never called, and the patient died during the night. Afterwards, the physician confirmed that he was never notified and that family could have had options.
Nursing home falls are so very dangerous not only because of the immediate physical danger, but also because of the long term effects that a shock to the system can cause in an elderly nursing home resident.
If you have a loved one who has suffered from a devastating fall in an Illinois nursing home, and you think they might be a victim of nursing home neglect, contact our Chicago nursing home lawyers for a free and confidential evaluation of your case.
Other blog posts on nursing home falls: