Nursing home is a very specific type of case that we would have in the past called a medical negligence case. Now it’s called a health care liability act. Very specifically, nursing homes have a lot of rules, both state and federal that they must follow. They must act as a reasonable nursing home would do under the circumstances. In other words, they have to give the type of medical care a nursing home would give concerning all circumstances.
What’s important to note there is, not an excuse we don’t have funding for an extra employee, we don’t have enough staff, we should have had another LPN or another nursing assistant, or another doctor making rounds. They take on a contract to take care of elderly people and to provide them proper care and that is all that matters.
The primary types of cases we see fall into 3 big areas. One is “falls” or “fall prevention.” Believe it or not, there are a lot of rules and regulations in place to try and prevent falls and fall risk assessments are put on all patients. We see a lot of those.
Number two can be lack of nourishment or malnutrition type cases. It’s very specific what must be done with patients that maybe aren’t ingesting or eating the proper diet, and aren’t getting the nourishment they are needing. The nursing home has a lot of requirements in the regard.
Number three, pressure soars or bed sores. In most cases, these soars can be prevented. There’s a lot of propaganda out there about that, and there are cases where they can not be. I will say that on the record, but there are many that can be based upon proper care, positioning of patient, etc.
There are good nursing homes that provide excellent care, and I want to say that on the record, but there can be a profit motive to have inadequate staffing. When you inadequate staffing you have issues with things that aren’t getting done and corners are being cut.
Inadequate training is another big area where we see a lot of issues with that. In many of our cases, one of our experts may point out that someone saw something, and should have reported it or did something about it. You must have an expert, doctor and/or nurse, if it’s a nurse in care issue, they must be lined up and prepared to testify that the nursing home deviated from the acceptable standard of care in that particular case with those particular set of facts. Then notice of that must be sent prior to the time of a lawsuit ever being filed. So that is a very stringent requirement that has to be met to the “t”. If there’s any technical problems or difficulties with that, the case is usually dismissed.
For over 20 years now, we still continue to handle a number of these, and successfully handled in recent months, severe pressure ulcer, bed soar case. Also, a case where a gentlemen lost one of his arms, due to the failure to diagnose the condition that could have been treated according to our expert, and could have saved his arm.
There are a variety of things that can happen, and I can’t begin to tell you all of them, but if you think there’s a problem with a loved one in a nursing home, give us a call at 423-265-1100, it’s free.
Let us look at the medical records and the facts to see if something is there.