Los Angeles Nursing Home Fined for Neglect that Resulted in Patient Death
A Canoga Park-based nursing home is facing a $75,000 fine after staff at the facility failed to monitor a resident who kept removing his own breathing tube, which ultimately led to his death. According to a report in the Los Angeles Daily News, Topanga Terrace was fined because a patient who relied on his breathing tube died in 2013 after removing the apparatus. Investigators with the California Department of Public Health also found that the patient who died suffered from several illnesses including dementia, chronic respiratory failure and tuberculosis.
A Case of Negligence
However, they also found that the nursing home did not have a proper treatment plan in place to deter the man from removing his own tube despite knowing he had the tendency to pull out the tube. The nursing home received a Class AA citation from state officials, the most severe penalty under the law. These types of citations are issued in cases where an act of negligence results in death or serious injury.
The health department’s investigation in this particular case determined that the deficiencies in the nursing home were the direct proximate cause of the patient’s death. Topanga Terrace released a statement calling the incident an “unfortunate accident” that occurred under different management.
Nursing Home Red Flags
Nursing home neglect and abuse are today’s unfortunate realities. With more nursing homes hankering after higher profits and keeping their facilities understaffed, there is a higher likelihood of such incidents taking place. Here are some of the red flags you can look for if you have a loved one in a nursing home:
• Poor personal hygiene: When a person is neglected in a nursing home, they are left to do these things in their own. Often, they are not capable of doing so because of dementia or other illnesses or because they are incapacitated.
• Unsanitary living conditions: Nursing homes are required to provide residents with safe and clean living conditions. Not doing so could be an indication of neglect.
• Poor nutrition: Malnutrition and dehydration could also be indicators of neglect. Poor nutrition and lack of proper hydration could even lead to death.
• Lack of mobility: Many nursing home residents are unable to move and many are confined to their beds. It is the job of nursing home staff to move them from time to time to prevent bedsores, improve circulation and reduce spasms and contractures.
• Unexplained injuries: When you see injuries that cannot be explained such as bruises or broken bones, this could be a strong indicator that abuse or neglect is taking place.
If your loved one has been abused or neglected in a nursing home, contact an experienced Los Angeles nursing home abuse lawyer to obtain more information about protecting your rights. Not only might you be able to seek compensation for your losses, but also hold the at-fault facility accountable.