Chicago nursing home neglect case could result in loss of federal funding; bed sores and poor building maintenance cited

Chicago nursing home neglect allegations could result in a loss of federal funding for a Will County nursing home, the Tribune reported.

The 150-bed Embassy Health Care Center in Wilmington has been charged with providing unacceptable levels of care to residents. Neglect allegations include failure to prevent pressure sores and building maintenance issues. An attorney for the facility claims it has taken corrective action and is waiting for approval from regulators.

The state is not currently seeking to close the home, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. However it could lose federal funding if the problems are not fixed by Aug. 26, according to the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Pressure sores, or bed sores as they are more commonly known, are a warning sign of possible neglect in an Illinois nursing home or elder care facility. The sores are caused by unrelieved pressure, most frequently as a result of an immobile or minimally mobile patient not being moved frequently enough. The most common preventive treatment is movement of a patient every two hours.

Untreated pressure sores are often prone to infection and can be fatal.

The National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel recognizes four stages of ulcers in the United States:

Stage 1: Superficial redness that does not dissipate when pressure is relieved.

Stage 2: Ulcers may appear as a blister or an abrasion; damage does not extend behind the dermis.

Stage 3: Ulcer involves the full thickness of the skin and may include subcutaneous tissue. Wounds are much tougher to heal at this stage and damage beneath the skin may be greater than what is visible.

Stage 4: The worst form of bed sores, the damage can extend into tendons, muscles and even bones. Only about 60 percent of these sores ever heal.

Relieving pressure is critical to helping to ensure that a pressure sore does not become more severe. Nursing homes and hospitals understand the need for proper care of bed-ridden patients and pressure sores are often a sign of neglect.

Infections and complications, including sepsis and gangrene, can turn bed sores into a life threatening medical condition.

If you are concerned about the conditions of a Chicago nursing home or the treatment of a friend or loved one, contact the Chicago injury attorneys at Abels & Annes for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.