A Washington, D.C. emergency room doctor told a television news station there that he regularly treats residents of a particular nursing home for life-threatening effects of neglect. The doctor, who remained anonymous, told the capital’s ABC affiliate that he routinely sees patients from the Grant Park Care Center who are in danger of dying from preventable causes, including dehydration, malnutrition, kidney problems and pneumonia. The long-term care ombudsman for D.C., Jerry Kasunic, added unattended wounds to that list. The article reports that Kasunic’s staff has filed more than 100 complaints about the facility, but the city Department of Health has not been able to stop the problems.
This anonymous emergency room doctor told the news station that he frequently sees patients from Grant Park in critical condition. Unfortunately, for many older people, “critical condition” isn’t easily overcome. When patients already have serious health problems, malnutrition, dehydration or infection can exacerbate those problems, causing a decline in health that sometimes leads to death. By the time families discover the problem, they may not be able to do much to make a substantial difference in the victim’s health.
The article also mentions that the D.C. Department of Health has performed at least two inspections of the nursing home in 2008, both of which turned up substantial evidence of neglect. The department declined to comment for this story, so we do not know why it hasn’t taken action. However, regulatory agencies exist to spot and stop situations like this. If local or federal authorities cannot stop abuse or neglect at a nursing home, victims and families in Illinois can still seek justice through an Illinois nursing home abuse or neglect lawsuit.
A lawsuit can’t bring back a victim’s health, but it can help victims and their families secure the money they need for alternative care, medical bills and other costs of the mistreatment, as well as compensation for the victim’s pain and suffering. In cases where regulators refuse to take action, it can also perform the important duty of financially penalizing the wrongdoers and warning other families about their behavior. If you or someone you care about is a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect in Illinois and you’d like to know more about your options, please contact us through our Web site to learn more about your legal options.