Few situations are more distressing than the neglect or abuse of someone who is helpless. Nursing home residents are fragile, often unable to communicate and hidden away from the eyes of the world. They may also be the victims of neglect or abuse at the hands of those trusted with their care. Federal and state laws are designed to protect our vulnerable loved ones, but enforcement depends on watchfulness. Only a qualified medical malpractice attorney can help if you suspect your loved one has been a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect.
Signs of Medical Malpractice Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect
The neglect or abuse may take a variety of forms. It may be physical, emotional, sexual or financial. It can be a matter of medication errors, careless supervision or even the failure to plan for disasters like a fire or the loss of power. Sometimes it is medical negligence. Be very alert to signs like:
- Bruises or broken bones
- Signs of dehydration or malnutrition
- Poor hygiene
- Soiled bedding
- Unexplained venereal disease
- Complaints about treatment
- A change in behavior, such as agitation, fear, crying, or withdrawal
One of the most serious consequences of nursing home neglect as seen by attorneys who deal with medical malpractice is the development of bed sores or “pressure ulcers.” Bed sores should not occur at all and are evidence that proper care was not given to the patient. Bed sores are preventable and can be avoided by properly positioning patients and other measures. If a patient is incontinent, it is important to keep him or her clean and dry so that pressure sores do not develop. If a bed sore does develop, it is important that the patient gets immediate and proper attention and treatment.
What to Do if You Suspect Medical Malpractice
If you suspect that something is not quite right, but aren’t sure, or can’t quite put your finger on it, do not wait. Act on what your instincts tell you.
First, report it to the nursing home administrator.
Second, make notes about the abuse, including the name and age of the victim, a description of physical or emotional symptoms and the details of any incident you witnessed, including the date, parties involved and location.
In the event of significant physical harm or abuse, contact the medical malpractice attorneys at Oresky & Associates, PLLC. We will help you follow up with the nursing home, the New York State Department of Health, or law enforcement if your loved one has been the victim of a crime. Our first priority is to make sure that your loved one is safe. Then we will fight for all the rights and compensation that may be owed because of the nursing home’s failures.
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