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New York patients back in hospitals after nursing home neglect

New York residents who have had loved ones admitted to nursing homes may be subjected to the constant concern for the well-being of the patient. News reports are a constant reminder of nursing home neglect and the lack of adequate and suitable care given to patients. A recent study by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) only served to emphasize the alarming state of care and lack of experienced caregivers at nursing homes across the country.

It was established that most nurses and caregivers in nursing homes were not trained to cope with the care of the aged. This lack of training and expertise led to various conditions present in nursing home patients. HHS estimated that, of the Medicare patients who were admitted to nursing homes after being discharged from the hospital, more than 1,500 died per month. Their deaths resulted from insufficient care and medical errors. More than 33,000 patients reported some form of adverse events, including pressure ulcers, low blood-sugar and hallucinations induced by medication.

HHS reported that many of those patients who suffered harmful events in the nursing homes during the one month period had to be readmitted to a hospital. The total cost was estimated at $208 million. Doctors who evaluated the medical incidents in these cases reported that almost 60 percent of the events could have been prevented. They stated that, if quality care was provided without delay, and patients were adequately monitored, readmittance to the hospital would not have been necessary.

New York residents may want to be aware of their legal options if they have loved ones who are victims of nursing home neglect, or if they have lost loved ones as a result of neglect, abuse, unsanitary or unsafe conditions in a nursing home. Gaining information related to the pursuance of legal claims against a nursing home may be beneficial. When such civil claims are successfully litigated, the court may award monetary damages to cover medical or end-of-life expenses and possibly ease the heartbreak caused by the incident.

Source: mainstreet.com, Rates of Medical Errors and Inadequate Care Is Higher in Nursing Homes Than in Hospitals, S.Z. Berg, March 10, 2014

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