The Parents and Friends of the Specialized Living Center in Swansea, Illinois was fined $20,000 for nursing home neglect after they failed to identify and address an emergency that led directly to the death of one of the residents of the facility.
There are few situations that call for an immediate emergency response like a cardiac arrest, and yet the staff of the Swansea, Illinois facility wasted critical minutes after one of their residents was found on the floor of the facility.
The resident was a 77-year-old mentally disabled woman suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. No one heard her fall, but she was found with cold skin, labored breathing, and no discernible pulse. Instead of immediately telephoning an ambulance, the Parents and Friends of the Specialized Living Center personnel called for further assistance from other nurses already at the facility.
Only after 3 additional nurses arrived on the scene was the decision to make a call to emergency services made. At that point, it was too late. The hospital report diagnosed the cause of death as “unsuccessful CPR.”
The Parents and Friends of the Specialized Living Center have a clear policy regarding situations like this: “In the event a client is having difficulty breathing, loses consciousness, has loss of pulse or blood pressure, or is bleeding excessively, DSP’s (Direct Support Persons) areto call 911 for immediate crisis intervention…”
Often, on this blog, we write about nursing home neglect that happens over a much greater period of time: bedsores, malnutrition, and other similar errors. While those errors are more common, a failure to properly take action during a cardiac or choking incident in a nursing home are no less deadly acts of nursing home neglect.
If you have a loved one who you feel has been injured because nursing home personnel failed to properly respond to an emergency situation, contact my law offices for a free and confidential evaluation of your case. At my law offices we never charge a fee unless we take, and win, your case.
Other blog posts on nursing home falls: