Fresno County Nursing Home Faces Allegations of Neglect
A wrongful death lawsuit filed against a Fresno County nursing home alleges that an elderly woman who was denied assistance in using the restroom by employees suffered injuries that eventually proved fatal. According to a news report in the Fresno Bee, the incident occurred in February when 74-year-old Rosario Navarro was taken to the bathroom, placed on the toilet and left unattended by staff at Manning Gardens Care Center in Easton. After using the restroom and waiting for “an unreasonably long period of time,” Navarro tried to use her call device to get staff to help her.
When no one showed up, she got up on her own, the lawsuit states. She then fell forward, hit her head and fell on the floor. Since she used her hands to break her fall, she fractured both of her wrists. Lawyers for Navarro’s family said a nursing home employee scolded Navarro for getting up on her own and then struck her in the head with a showerhead for crying. The nursing home didn’t inform Navarro’s relatives about her injury. Instead, they put her to bed. When Navarro’s condition worsened she was taken to a local hospital for an x-ray. She had suffered a traumatic brain injury and died from her injuries March 18.
Understaffing and Nursing Home Neglect
It’s a fact that a number of nursing homes in California and the rest of the country are so understaffed that they are endangering the welfare of their patients. In the past, federal studies have concluded that understaffing has contributed to increased incidences of severe bedsores, malnutrition and abnormal weight loss among nursing home patients.
A high number of these patients end up developing life-threatening infections, or like Navarro, suffer injuries that prove fatal. These are issues that could be prevented if the nursing homes are adequately staffed. Federal officials recommend patients receive at least 12 minutes a day of care from registered nurses. Right now, 31 percent of nursing homes do not meet that standard. In fact, nursing homes create an environment ripe of abuse and neglect by understaffing, overworking and underpaying their employees.
Detecting Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
There are several red flags you can look for in order to determine whether your loved one is being abused or neglected in a nursing home. First, when you visit a loved one in a nursing home, see if the facility is understaffed. Look for signs of exhaustion or confusion when you visit your loved one, where he or she was previously alert and active. This may be a sign that the staff may be over-medicating patients. Also, if you noticed unexplained injuries such as cuts, bruises or burn marks on your loved one, that could be a warning sign that your loved one is being abused. If you suspect neglect or abuse, contact an experienced California nursing home abuse lawyer who will help hold the negligent facility accountable.