The city of Chicago has had some fairly bad luck in recent times regarding nursing homes. The problems within this city and surrounding areas have gotten so severe that state lawmakers have introduced a bill that would increase penalties for understaffed homes as a deterrent measure. Actions such as this will hopefully limit infections and deaths related to staff shortages and improper care.
Regardless of what happens with the state legislature, nursing homes can still be sued for improper care that results in infections or other injuries.
Lawmakers begin to act to correct nursing home abuse and widespread infections in Chicago
Senator Collins of Chicago was quoted as saying “people think when they put their family members into homes a certain level of care would be there, but recently we’ve found that certainly is not the case.”
Recent investigations into nursing homes in the area were summarized into a report that made some shocking findings. The report found that about 6000 nursing home patients are hospitalized with sepsis each year, and about one in five of those will die from complications related to the condition. Sepsis is a kind of bloodstream infection that usually stems from common nursing home problems like bed sores and urinary tract infections. When homes are short staffed, things like falls or sores that are often the initial catalyst of sepsis can go unnoticed or without proper treatment. Unfortunately, there are no regulations in effect at the moment that give concrete numbers regarding how many employees need to be on staff at any give time. The minimum number of hours of care required for each patient by the state of Illinois is also less than federal regulations on the same issue.
The same investigation also found that the Chicago metro area has some of the worst staffing shortages in the entire country, with about 78 percent of the homes falling below acceptable levels of personnel. The new bill proposes fines for staffing shortages that would become more costly than hiring additional personnel, which should motivate homes to begin hiring aggressively.
Negligent care causes additional problems
Nursing homes are regulated by local and federal governments because they receive funding through sources such as Medicare and Medicaid. This places an affirmative duty on the homes to follow these rules and maintain a safe, clean environment for the elderly.
If a significant number of people in these homes are experiencing infections related to neglect or improper care, this is a good example of a negligence case. In the context of a nursing home, a negligence case essentially means that the facility failed to adequately care for someone as required by law, which resulted in other serious health problems.
A lawyer handling such a claim will argue that the home breached their minimal duty of care by not noticing and treating sepsis or other infections before they became a major threat to someone’s life and safety. When such a lack of care is found to cause other health complications, the nursing home can be held financially responsible for the additional treatment that is needed, along with having to pay out other damages that are meant to deter or punish this kind of behavior. Serious infections that result in death can also be handled under similar kind of lawsuits.
Fight back against negligent nursing homes
There are lawyers who specialize in claims related to the elderly, including neglect in assisted care facilities. They can provide more detailed instructions about how to proceed when someone suffers from a severe infection or other injury. Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd. is available to assist with all kinds of nursing abuse claims in Chicago and surrounding parts of Illinois.