Many Alabamans living in Birmingham, Homewood, Mountain Brook and Vestavia Hills and surrounding communities might not realize that nursing homes can be dangerous places. In fact, one out of every three nursing home residents who receive treatment suffers injuries, according to a Department of Health and Human Services report on adverse events in nursing homes.
A report by NPR described how one nursing home resident with Parkinson's disease died after receiving medication through a feeding tube. The man had lost his ability to swallow. The nurse mistakenly forced medicine from his feeding tube into his lungs, which resulted in his death at the Dallas-area nursing home, according to NPR.
Nursing home abuse attorneys know that most injuries or problems that occur during treatment can be prevented. The case described in the NPR report is not unlike many others that our experienced lawyers have seen. We know that these cases can be so devastating to families who put their trust in the facility. It's these types of stories that motivate us to work hard on behalf of victims of nursing home abuse and neglect.
The Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services conducted over the course of one year a large sampling of Medicare patients who were discharged from hospitals to skilled nursing facilities. During that time, a third of the patients were harmed during treatment in nursing homes.
According to the NPR story, officials who conducted a review of cases throughout the United States found that many problems "were failures in ordinary, everyday care." Factors contributing to neglect included lack of monitoring and paying attention and substandard medical care.
What Factors Lead to Nursing Home Negligence?
Our attorneys know that understaffing is one of the significant factors in nursing homes which can lead to harm to a resident. But other factors can lead to significant problems, including inadequate training and violations of regulations or standard healthcare procedures.
The problem of nursing home negligence extends beyond the injury to the patient. NPR reports that 60 percent of the people in nursing homes who suffer treatment injuries ended up returning to hospitals as a result. That translates to an additional $2.8 billion hospitalization cost to Medicare each year (not including the cost of additional doctor visits and longer nursing home stays).
According to the NPR story, officials hope their report will improve the safety of all nursing home residents. Nursing home residents today generally are sicker and more frail than they were years ago, which means that safety improvements are more critical now than ever before.
We fully support efforts to improve treatment and care in nursing homes in Alabama and throughout the country. Your loved one depends on the nursing home. He or she is completely reliant upon the staff and medical care providers. There's no room for error.
Victims of Birmingham, AL nursing home abuse should consult with a personal injury lawyer at Shuttlesworth Law Firm LLC. Call 866-583-1885 today. Serving Birmingham, suburbs of Homewood, Mountain Brook and Vestavia Hills and surrounding locations.