Nursing homes and other long-term care facilities are responsible for caring for their residents and providing them with a safe environment, free from mistreatment. Abuse and neglect can often be difficult to detect, particularly since many residents in long-term care facilities are unable to report their experiences for a number of reasons. Maryland nursing home abuse may be more obvious to an outsider, but neglect can be more difficult because it is often unclear what the cause of a resident’s condition is. Neglect is a failure to care for a person in a manner that would avoid harm and pain, or a failure to react to a situation that may be harmful, and it can be intentional or unintentional.
One news article recently exposed the dire conditions facing one nursing home resident in upstate New York. According to the article, a resident at a group home for the severely disabled was found with maggots in his throat. Ever since the resident was in a car accident 26 years ago, he had been unable to walk, speak, or breathe without the help of a ventilator. After the maggots were found in the 41-year-old resident’s throat last summer, he was sent to the emergency room and treated. Apparently, this was not an isolated incident, since the resident had to make several trips to the hospital.
The State conducted an investigation of the incident and found that the resident had been neglected by caretakers. The investigation determined that the maggots in the resident’s throat resulted from the neglect by his caretakers. The staff members were supposed to keep his tracheostomy clean, but for several days, they neglected to do so. The investigation did not uncover which employees were at fault—so no employee was punished, and the investigation suggested instead that the home “consider” brushing up on training on the care of tracheostomies.
According to experts, maggots in a person’s tracheostomy are almost unheard of in the developed world. The resident’s father moved his son to another facility since this occurred, but he stated that although his son was not “important to anyone else,” he should not have been treated like this. The investigation was not made public until the Associated Press later obtained a copy of the resident’s confidential report, exposing the resident’s ordeal.
In many states, including Maryland, abuse and neglect investigations in state-regulated institutions generally are not made public. The director of public policy at the National Consumer Voice For Quality Long-Term Care stated that if a complaint of abuse or neglect is substantiated, there is normally a lengthy report, but others cannot obtain this information. There are no nationwide disclosure rules. In many states, abuse and neglect reports are not made public, even with the patient’s identifying information removed.
Do You Suspect Your Loved One Suffered from Abuse or Neglect?
If you have a loved one whom you believe may have suffered from abuse or neglect at a Maryland nursing home or another facility, you and your loved one may be entitled to compensation. The trial attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC have nearly two decades of experience representing victims throughout Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. We approach each case with empathy and professionalism, and we can provide you with the attention you deserve. Contact us at 800-654-1949 or 410-654-3600 or through our online form to set up a free consultation.
More Blog Posts:
Social Media’s Role in Perpetuating Nursing Home Abuse, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published August 7, 2017.
Family Sues Nursing Home After Failing to Revive Resident for Over 30 Minutes, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published July 14, 2017.