Nursing Home Resident Dies After Staff Fails to Change Oxygen Tank

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.

Can You Sue a Maryland Nursing Home for Nursing Home Neglect?

If you or a loved one has suffered injuries from nursing home neglect, you may be able to sue the nursing home for negligence. While state-imposed fines can be steep, they often do not go to a resident or their family. To recover compensate for your harm, you can pursue a lawsuit to seek redress from the nursing home. If healthcare providers at a nursing home fail to adequately treat your loved one’s condition, you may also be able to pursue a medical malpractice claim. Whether you allege neglect or medical malpractice, holding nursing homes liable for negligence requires you to prove duty, breach, causation, and damages. To succeed on a negligence claim, you must show that the nursing home owed your loved one a duty of care, violated that duty by failing to care for them, caused the event that injured your loved one, and that your loved one suffered harm that a damages award can help redress.

To defend against a negligence claim, the nursing home may argue that their actions did not cause your loved one’s injury. Too often, nursing homes take advantage of their residents’ poor health to argue residents suffered injuries due to a pre-existing medical condition. However, you can still prove causation if nursing home staff worsened your loved one’s condition. Nursing homes understand that they must care for elderly and medically vulnerable residents. Failing to provide adequate care can be a factual and legal cause of a resident’s harm. An experienced nursing home neglect attorney can help you argue that nursing home neglect worsened your loved one’s health notwithstanding a pre-existing condition.

Do You Need a Maryland Nursing Home Neglect Attorney?

If your loved one has suffered harm from nursing home neglect, contact a nursing home malpractice attorney at Lebowitz & Mzhen to understand your options. Our experienced elder abuse and neglect attorneys proudly serve clients in Baltimore, Prince George’s, Charles and Montgomery counties. The attorneys on our team possess the skills and experience to hold nursing homes accountable for their neglect. For a free initial consultation, call our office at 800-654-1949.

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