Understaffing Key Factor in Nursing Home Neglect ~ OPOLAW Injury Blog

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Understaffing Key Factor in Nursing Home Neglect

A recent investigation into nursing home neglect by the National Citizens Coalition for Nursing Home Reform reveals that understaffing is the main reason for inadequate care of patients in nursing homes. The Faces of Neglect: Behind the Closed Doors of Nursing Homes delves into the case studies of 36 nursing home residents across 12 states, of which all but one resulted in the filing of lawsuits. A sample story from the report is as follows: "Katherine J. entered a nursing home with a small, red, blistered area on her buttocks. Within five days, an 11-inch by 13-inch pressure sore covering both buttocks developed. The doctor ordered a special mattress, and the woman was to have her food pureed to receive better nutrition to help heal her pressure sore. The orders were not followed. Despite documentation by nurses of the woman's severe pain, the only pain medication she was given was an occasional Tylenol. Eight days after being admitted, she was hospitalized with a high fever, fecal impaction, infected pressure sores and sepsis, which is an infection in the blood. The woman died two days later."

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