An unusually large number of deaths over the last several months at a nursing home in Champaign have apparently prompted an inquiry. According to one report, as many as 60 residents died in the months of December, January, and February combined. Champaign County Nursing Home Administrator Karen Noffke allegedly stated 42 deaths took place at the home between December 1st and early March. She also said 27 of those deaths included individuals who were receiving hospice care. In contrast, the nursing home reportedly averaged about 5 resident deaths per month between January and November 2012.
The facility’s manager, Scott Gima, said he plans to analyze the mortality data to determine whether any specific health trends, such as a pneumonia outbreak, have affected the nursing home. Still, Gima reportedly believes the Champaign County Nursing Home patient death rate is high as a result of the increased number of hospice patients in the facility’s care. He also stated that a respiratory-therapy program was recently suspended until a new therapist can be found. The overall number of residents at the Champaign County Nursing Home has reportedly dropped by 20, or about 10 percent, since December.
County Board Members Peter Czajkowski and Robert Palinkas expressed concern over the nursing home’s mortality data. Czajkowski stated he believes the rash of deaths merits serious investigation. Palinkas also suggested that the overall death data should be analyzed for errors. Two other Board Members also echoed their sentiments. In response, Gima told the County Board of Directors that a comprehensive nursing report will be made available to them within the next few weeks.
Although most nursing homes in Illinois provide quality patient care, there is always room for improvement. Unfortunately, some skilled nursing facilities choose to cut corners through personnel and other direct-care expenses. When a nursing home fails to employ a sufficient number of qualified staff or when employees do not effectively communicate with one another, patient neglect or abuse can result. If your friend or family member was the victim of abuse or neglect while residing in a nursing home in Illinois, you are advised to discuss your concerns with a skilled lawyer.
If you believe someone close to you was hurt or died as a result of the quality of care provided by an Illinois skilled nursing facility, you should give the hardworking attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. a call at (312) 924-7575. Our diligent Chicago nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers are available 24 hours per day, every day of the week, to help you protect the rights of your elderly and disabled friends and loved ones. For a free consultation with a knowledgeable advocate, contact Abels & Annes, P.C. through the law firm’s website.
To Protect Loved Ones, Many Factors Should Be Considered When Choosing an Illinois Nursing Home, Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog, March 22, 2013
Federal Report Claims One-Third of Certified Nursing Homes in Illinois and Elsewhere Provide Substandard Patient Care, Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog, March 20, 2013
County nursing home to review unusual number of deaths, by Tom Kacich, News-Gazette