When families pay nursing homes to care for their loved ones, nursing homes assume a duty to ensure a resident’s basic needs are met. Failing to adequately attend to residents’ medical needs can worsen their condition and lead to severe injury. When nursing homes neglect medically vulnerable residents, they may face state-imposed fines. Additionally, a resident’s loved ones may bring a negligence lawsuit against the nursing home to receive compensation for their loved one’s harm.
For example, a resident at an Iowa nursing home died after staff failed to change her depleted oxygen tank. The patient required supplemental oxygen after suffering from congestive heart failure. When staff went to her room to take the resident to lunch, they found her unresponsive and her oxygen tank empty. The resident was transported to the hospital, where died a few days later. Due to her lack of oxygen, the resident had suffered an anoxic brain injury.
According to the Iowa Department of Inspections, Appeals, and Licensing, staff repeatedly failed to check her oxygen tank and vitals multiple times. In the days before nursing home staff found the resident unresponsive, they also allegedly ignored her potential symptoms of oxygen deprivation and failed to check her oxygen levels. As a result of the resident’s death, the nursing home faces an $8,500 fine.