Earlier this month, a lawsuit was filed by the son of a woman who passed away while in the care of a skilled nursing facility, alleging that the care provided to his mother in her final hours contributed to his mother’s early death. According to one local news source, the 82-year-old woman was admitted to the nursing facility with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, type-2 diabetes, hypertension, aspiration pneumonia, and dysphagia.
According to the woman’s son, his mother was admitted to the facility on June 5, 2013. Upon admission, the facility was given orders to make sure that the woman had her scheduled feedings through a gastrostomy tube and that the tube was to be routinely checked for residual amounts of formula in her stomach. However, according to the lawsuit, “there is no indication in the initial care plan that respiration precautions were specifically addressed or that prevention guidelines were established.”
According to court documents, the day after her admission to the facility, a nurse documented that the woman was pale, wheezing, and in bed with her eyes closed. Two hours later, that same nurse came back to check on the woman and noticed that she had elevated blood pressure. The nurse provided the woman with oxygen, elevated her head, and stopped the woman’s feeding tube. A few moments later, the elderly woman became unresponsive. The primary nurse was told to call for an ambulance. After a few minutes passed by, another nurse inquired as to where the ambulance was, and it turned out that the primary nurse had not called 911 but instead called the non-emergency line and been given an approximate wait time of one hour.
Eventually, an ambulance did arrive, and the woman was taken to the hospital, where she was treated for pneumonia, respiratory failure, lactic acidosis, severe septic shock, renal failure, and hyperbilirubinemia. Despite the efforts of attending physicians, the woman passed away two days later.
Nursing Home Negligence in Maryland Nursing Homes
The allegations above certainly seem to indicate that there was much more that the nursing facility could have done to care for the elderly woman. In fact, the woman’s son is arguing just that in hopes that a judge or jury will agree with him and compensate him and his deceased mother’s estate for his loss.
In Maryland, these kinds of lawsuits are called wrongful death lawsuits, and they are generally brought by a parent, child, or spouse of the deceased. In some situations, courts will allow other blood or adoptive relatives to file a wrongful death lawsuit if they can show that they were financially dependent on the deceased.
Once it is determined that a wrongful death lawsuit is being brought by a proper party, that party must prove that the defendant was negligent in their duties to care for and attend to the deceased. This is often where the bulk of the litigation lies. If you have any questions about Maryland wrongful death lawsuits, contact a dedicated Maryland personal injury attorney.
Have You Lost a Loved One in a Maryland Nursing Home?
If you have recently lost a loved one due to the negligence of a nursing home, you may be entitled to monetary damages to help compensate you for your loss. In addition, you may be able to seek reimbursement for past medical bills that were incurred as a result of the defendant nursing home’s negligence. To learn more, and to speak to a dedicated Maryland nursing home attorney about your case, call 410-654-3600 today to set up a free consultation.
See More Blog Posts:
Resident-on-Resident Sexual Abuse Goes Unreported; Nursing Home Fined, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published May 7, 2015.
Sexual Assault of Elders Occurs Most Often in Nursing Homes in Maryland, Nationwide, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published March 26, 2015.