Cincinnati, Ohio Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer and Cincinnati Nursing Home Attorney reviewing injury cases for plaintiffs nationwide
Around 1.4 million Americans reside in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities. Elderly residents are typically frail and vulnerable both physically and emotionally. Your loved ones deserve the best care and attentive staff, though that does not always happen.
Nursing home neglect has been a serious issue for decades now, and the management of facilities must be held accountable when instances of negligence affect your family.
If an Ohio nursing home fails to provide the professional care they have advertised, and patient injuries and deaths result, the companies may be held responsible in Ohio courts. Large settlements have resulted from the families of victims filing injury claims against nursing homes and long-term care facilities.
Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Cincinnati nursing home attorney with experience in injuries and deaths due to nursing home neglect.
Mr. Lyon has represented injured plaintiffs nationwide in a variety of medical negligence, wrongful death and nursing home injury claims.
Types of Nursing Home Neglect
Nursing home neglect injuries may result from understaffing, underqualified staff, bad management and poor communication. Abuse and neglect can result in dangerous bedsores and other serious infections. Common types of nursing home abuse may include:
- Physical Abuse
- Safety Hazards—slips and falls
- Improper confinement and isolation
- Emotional Abuse
- Failing to keep patients clean
- Failing to prevent malnutrition
- Sexual Assault & Inappropriate physical contact
- Bedsores and infections
- Identity theft, stealing money & forgery
- Overcharging patients and families
- Overmedicating patients
- Failure to transfer patients to hospital
Nursing Home Falls & Patient Injury
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates approximately 1,800 nursing home residents die from dangerous falls each year. Residents who survive falls may sustain hip or head injuries which can lead to permanent disabilities.
Because of the new surroundings and staff neglect, many newly admitted nursing home residents will suffer a fall shortly after their arrival. Understaffing is a big factor in these injuries, and the management of nursing homes have a responsibility to prevent falls and accidents.
While we do not accept every case, Joseph Lyon will speak with you personally and will make every effort to provide you with more information related to your rights and potential legal action than you have today.
Cincinnati Nursing Home Attorney
Each year, older Americans move into nursing homes and assisted living facilities to receive attentive nursing care around the clock. Over 1.4 million Americans reside in around 16,000 different nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities. The transition into a nursing home is difficult for both patients and their families.
It is a sacrifice, and residents rely heavily on the compassion and competence of nursing home staff and management to provide the best care possible. When nursing homes fail to provide the professional care they promise, and injuries and deaths result, they may be held accountable by Ohio law.
Many assisted living facilities and nursing homes do their best to provide an aging individual with attentive nursing care. However, nursing home abuse and negligence are still far too common.
If you or your loved one has suffered while living in a nursing home, contact an experienced Cincinnati nursing home attorney to help you seek compensation, restore dignity, and ensure that health care improves for future patients.
Nursing Home Drug Injury
In recent years a public health focus on nursing home abuse has uncovered several issues to be improved upon. In regard to many medications, including antipsychotics in nursing homes, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has noted that overprescribing is a serious concern.
A recent study by the HHS concluded that almost every American nursing home fails to meet at least one requirement needed to prescribe certain strong medications to residents.
In order to treat residents with antipsychotics and other controlled classes of drugs, nursing home staff must complete a patient assessment and care plan process.
According to the study’s findings, 99 percent of nursing homes fail to engage in care plan development. The use of antipsychotics and other drugs should be carefully monitored because the drugs may significantly increase patients’ risk of death.
Nursing Home Bedsores
Bedsores, also known as pressure sores, pressure ulcers, and skin lesions can be very painful and lead to more serious health problems if not treated promptly.
Nursing home staff are well aware that patients confined to beds need to be turned regularly to reduce the risk of developing ulcers. However, when nursing homes are understaffed or fail to properly attend to residents, patients suffer the consequences.
Bedsores, also called decubitus ulcers, are injuries to skin and underlying tissue from prolonged skin pressure. Bedsores commonly develop on bony areas of the body, such as the heels, ankles, hips and tailbone. Common Contributing Factors for Bedsores:
- Pressure—bedsores are caused by pressure against the skin that limits blood flow to the skin. Blood flow is essential to delivering oxygen and nutrients to tissue.
- Friction—skin rubbing against clothing or bedding makes skin more vulnerable to injury.
- Overmedicated patients
- Understaffing at nursing homes
- Lack of sensory perception
- Nursing home neglect
- Medical conditions affecting blood flow—diabetes and vascular disease
Nursing Home Infection
People most at risk of bedsores have medical conditions that limit their ability to change positions on their own. Bedsores can develop quickly. Most sores heal with treatment, but some are more severe and lead to serious drug resistant infections. Other signs of nursing abuse include:
- Unexplained injuries
- Restraint marks
- Lack of hygiene maintenance
- Untidy living conditions
- Unexplained withdrawals from bank accounts
- Bedsores and poor skin conditions
- Signs of dehydration
- Unusually sedated residents
- Weight loss
- Broken bones & fractures
- Bruising from unknown injuries
- A patient that withdraws socially over time
- Entirely non-communicative patient
- A fear of physical contact
Bedsores are categorized into four stages, based on their depth, severity and other characteristics. They include:
- Stage I—a persistent redness, swelling and tenderness on a patient’s skin.
- Stage II—a loss of some of skin thickness. Appears as a blister, abrasion or shallow crater.
- Stage III—damage to the full thickness of the skin. A deep lesion or crater is present.
- Stage IV—a complete loss of the skin. Muscle or bone is exposed.
A bedsore can advance quickly when patients do not receive proper treatment and care in a nursing home or assisted living center. There are various factors associated with developing bedsores, though most involve neglect, understaffing, overmedicating, a lack of nutritional care and patient immobility.
Common Sites of Pressure Sores
- Tailbone & Buttocks
- Shoulder blades
- Backs of arms & legs
- Back or sides of the head
- Lower back
- Heels & ankles
- Behind the knees
Complications of Bedsore Infections
- Cellulitis—an infection of the skin and connected soft tissues.
- Bone and joint infections—Infections from pressure sores can pass into joints and bones, damaging cartilage and tissue. Bone infections may reduce the function of joints and limbs.
- Cancer—long-term, unhealed wounds can develop into a type of squamous cell carcinoma
Ohio Nursing Home Ratings
The federal government has recognized the prevalence of nursing home neglect and the lack of transparency for consumer choice. As a result, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) developed a rating system to help consumers understand the quality or lack of quality of care at a nursing home facility.
The system has a scale of 1-5 with a five being the highest level of care. Over 40 percent of all Nursing Homes in Ohio have low ratings under the federal five star ratings. Incredibly, only 6 percent of the 971 Ohio Nursing Homes received the five star rating.
If you have witnessed or suspect Ohio nursing home neglect or nursing home abuse, it is critical to report the conduct to Ohio Officials. Anyone can report Ohio nursing home negligence or nursing home abuse in Ohio, and the reporting along with civil actions jointly serve to hold institutions responsible for breaking the law. The following is a list of the officials you should contact:
- Ohio Attorney General
- The Ohio Department of Health
- The Cincinnati Health Department
- The Dayton Health Department
- Ohio HOPES
Failure to Transfer Patients
Nursing homes have been accused of delaying hospital transfers for patients who need urgent medical care. When in-house physicians and nurses diagnose or identify a patient with serious illness or injury, they have an obligation to alert management and arrange for prompt hospital transfer.
A failure to transfer patients to hospitals or medical centers can lead to wrongful death cases and nursing home malpractice lawsuits. Many long-term care injuries and deaths can be prevented when staff acts quickly and does not delay in transferring sick patients to hospitals.
Assisted Living Neglect & Patient Injury
Assisted living facilities were originally designed for elder residents who were able to maintain some kind of independence but still required help in certain aspects of daily living. Unlike nursing homes, assisted living facilities usually do not provide professional medical care or therapy.
Dementia care facilities are growing fast in the United States. The companies who run the 30,000 senior living and assisted care facilities in the U.S. market the locations as able to care for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. But facilities are not always able to deliver on their promises of security and care. Many have violated dementia regulations and have been responsible for a large number of patient injuries and untreated illnesses.
In many cases, patients have disappeared only to find them hours or days later. It seems like nursing homes and assisted care facilities would prioritize the safety of the residents but understaffing and a lack of training often leads to serious accidents and preventable deaths.
Within one year of being admitted, one in five nursing home patients suffers a fall injury, one in eight visits an emergency room visit and one in 12 has an overnight hospital stay, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
When a nursing home or assisted care facility promises customers a certain degree of care and fails to protect a vulnerable patient, they may be held liable for any injury or illness that may have been prevented with basic care.
The elderly population in nursing homes and assisted living facilities around Ohio frequently suffer injuries like bedsores due to understaffing and neglect. Some underlying issues that lead to dangerous skin ulcers include improper medication, a lack of supervision, malnutrition, inadequate wound care, and a delay in sending patients to medical centers and hospitals.
These severe injuries are almost always preventable, and nursing homes have a duty to ensure that residents are kept safe and as healthy as possible. Nursing home neglect may lead to severe infection, amputations, and death.
If a loved one has suffered an injury at an Ohio nursing home due to mismanagement or neglect, and have questions about the legal remedies available to improve quality of life and medical care, contact The Lyon Firm at (800) 513-2403. You will speak directly with Mr. Lyon, a Cincinnati nursing home attorney, and he will help you answer these critical questions.