South Carolina – January 5, 2021

South Carolina law requires notice to medical facilities and employees who are alleged to have conducted medical malpractice before a formal lawsuit is filed in court.  A resident died at a South Carolina Nursing home facility and her family filed a notice of medical malpractice against the facility and its director.  State licensed facilities must follow federal and state laws regarding the resident bill of rights identified in The Nursing Home Reform Act under Title IV: of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987.  Regulation ensures residents are receiving a proper level of care while living in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Nursing home attorneys assist individuals and family members who suspect abuse and harm against loved ones living in long term skilled facilities.

Resultant death.

A personal injury claim in this instance asserts that the facility did not provide proper infection control in accordance with the law.  Despite the resident never leaving her room, she contracted COVID-19 and died.  Nursing home abuse covers acts of negligence that cause, or exacerbate existing health conditions, or place residents in danger. Deviations from facility cleanliness, staff hygiene and administrative infectious disease protocols could place a resident at risk and may be considered acts of unintentional negligence.

Reasonable precautionary measures.

Nursing homes are a perfect setting for communicable diseases such as COVID-19 to spread through the at-risk population who live in close quarters sharing sources of food, water, air, medical staff, and equipment. The mechanisms of spread for COVID-19 are favorable when respiratory droplets, forced into the air by sick individuals through a sneeze, or cough, are passed on through close contact between people. If someone died at a long term care facility because they were not isolated from sick individuals, some degree of  responsibility may fall onto the health care providers.  Seeking consultation with a skilled nursing home lawyer can help.

South Carolina residential facility professional duty of care.

South Carolina nursing home facilities have standard operating procedures requiring administrative personnel to take action to isolate sick residents in residential facilities to control disease spread.  In accordance with South Carolina Nursing Home Laws (S.C. Code Section 44-7-260), “An infection isolation room shall be made available if ordered by the attending physician for a resident who has a communicable disease that poses a threat to the health, or safety of other residents, or who for some other reason requires isolation and only to the extent that is required to protect the resident and others.” and “Should it be determined that the facility is unable to care for the resident to the degree which assures the health and safety of the resident and the other residents of the facility, the resident shall be relocated to a facility that can meet his or her needs.”

Legal counsel and timelines.

The McDougall Law Firm can apprise victims of loss regarding he statute of limitations for claims in South Carolina  with the norm at three years, but in certain medical malpractice cases it could extend as long as six years. It may be wise to consult with an experienced nursing home abuse attorney to start an investigation when there is a deviation from infectious disease protocols.

 

McDougall Law Firm, LLC

115 Lady’s Island Commons
Beaufort, SC 29907

Phone: 843.379.7000

Sources.

https://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/news/coronavirus/article247694085.html

https://aging.sc.gov/

https://ncea.acl.gov/

https://www.scdhec.gov/sites/default/files/Library/Regulations/R.61-17.pdfd

https://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t44c070.php

https://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t43c035.php

 

 

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