Nursing home medical malpractice is not just a phenomenon in the United States. Other countries have to deal with the consequences of medical malpractice that occur in nursing homes. As an example, a disturbing case of nursing home malpractice in the United Kingdom, resulting in an 83-year-old man’s death, involved a nurse’s care that the coroner described as “minimal, unprofessional and ineffective.”
The man had been a resident of the particular nursing home for only six days when his medical condition deteriorated. More than an hour before the man’s death, two of the man’s care assistants were concerned enough about the man’s deteriorating condition that they asked the nurse to call for an ambulance to transfer the man to the hospital (this was their second request that an ambulance be called). The man was in obvious pain and his color had changed to bluish grey. He stopped producing urine the night before. Despite the man’s serious deteriorating medical condition, the nurse refused to call for an ambulance and instead ordered medication for constipation. The man, who had dementia, died from a severe urinary tract infection.
This poor man also suffered from nursing home medical malpractice in another nursing home prior to being transferred to the nursing home in which he died. In the other nursing home, he had an ulcer on his ankle that was examined by a physician who ordered antibiotics. The man’s ankle was not examined by a physician for another month during which unapproved bandages and dressings were used and were not changed often enough, sometimes for four days. By the time the man was examined again, his ankle wound had grown and he had to be transferred to the hospital, where his leg was amputated below the knee due to the lack of proper medical treatment in the nursing home. He was then transferred to the second nursing home, where he died six days after admission.
What started as a small ankle ulcer that was not life-threatening in the first nursing home, progressively got worse due to medical negligence that resulted in the man losing his leg below the knee. The medical malpractice that occurred in the second nursing home resulted in the man’s death. Unbelievable: two nursing home admissions, with a hospital stay in between, resulted in two serious events of medical malpractice — one resulting in the amputation of a leg and the other resulting in death.
This nursing home medical malpractice case from the United Kingdom could just as easily have occurred in the United States. Nursing home medical malpractice is a serious problem in the United States. Too many nursing home residents in the United States suffer unnecessary injuries, pain and suffering, and even death due to medical negligence. Nursing home residents are among the most vulnerable patients — if we don’t protect nursing home residents from abuse or neglect, we are condoning unnecessary suffering, both for the nursing home residents and their families.
If you or a family member have been injured or died as a result of medical malpractice, abuse, or neglect while in a nursing home, the services of a medical malpractice attorney may help determine if a medical malpractice claim should be filed.
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