According to at least one report, at least five elderly individuals died as a result of a systematic incidence of neglect at a care home that was rated “good” by the relevant official regulator.
An additional fourteen residents also died, though of reported natural causes, after receiving “sub-optimal” care at the home.
A five week long investigation revealed that residents were routinely given overdoses of medication, and were often left in soiled provisions and in pain during two years of staff shortages and mismanagement. The home has also allegedly engaged in deliberate cover up behavior, such as shredding medical records.
A coroner ruled that abuse and neglect by staff contributed to the deaths of the five individuals in question. One of the victims died after being given three times the correct dose of the blood-thinning drug, for which she was initially hospitalized. In fact, one of the home’s former administrators called the police when a nurse informed her that there had been some 28 drug errors on a single night shift. Additional claims include that nurses deliberately ignored residents’ calls for help, and used packing tape was used to secure at least one resident’s dressing, among other allegations.
Following an investigation, local police arrested at least five people, some of which was based on suspicion of manslaughter by gross negligence in relation to the woman in the triple overdose incident. The local government is reportedly looking into the cases further, even though prior attempts were ruled to have insufficient evidence.
Although this case happened in the United Kingdom, it could just as easily have happened anywhere in the United States, including in Maryland. The fact is that even though regulatory agencies are in charge of overseeing nursing homes and assisted care facilities, sometimes things go unreported, uninvestigated, or simply unnoticed. Governmental oversight agencies are notoriously underfunded, and tragically fail to catch homes engaging in negligent or abusive acts.
What this tragic example further demonstrates is the unfortunate but sad reality that nursing home abuse and neglect is rarely a single isolated issue, but more likely a recurring systematic problem. This is why it is imperative that if you suspect that a loved one or elderly friend living within a nursing home or assisted living facility is being abused or neglected, that you do not ignore your intuition.
If you suspect that an elderly friend or relative living in a nursing home or assisted living facility within the Maryland or the Washington D.C. areas might be suffering from nursing home neglect or abuse, contact the experienced nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC immediately. Contact us today in order to schedule your complimentary and confidential initial consultation. You can reach us by calling (800) 654-1949 or contact us through our website.
More Blog Posts:
Adult Care Home Owner Faces Numerous State Criminal Charges, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published October 10, 2013
Arraignment in Nursing Home Abuse Case, Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published October 4, 2013