A nursing home in Little Rock is facing a wrongful death lawsuit, filed by the deceased’s daughter, according to Arkansas Online. The deceased, a 68-year-old woman with vascular dementia, was reported to have died of a heart attack caused by distress, resulting from falling out of bed in the middle of the night. However, the plaintiff argues that the facility had a long history of negligence, failing to address her mother’s fall history and not taking the necessary measures to prevent serious injuries from occurring. In such cases, the more evidence that the plaintiff and their attorney can amass, the easier it will be to prove a history of negligence. In personal injury and wrongful death suits it is not always necessary to show that there is a history of negligence. However, by doing so, the case will be stronger.
History of Falls, Yet No Bedside Alarm System Installed
A few years earlier, the nursing home installed a bedside alarm system in the elderly woman’s room after she had four reported falls. However, the alarm system was removed after a number of months of no falls. Later that year, she suffered a bad fall that caused lacerations and a hematoma. Surprisingly, records show that the alarm system was not installed after that traumatic incident.
Bed Setup Caused an Entrapment and Asphyxiation Zone
The night before the woman’s death, a licensed nurse practitioner recorded that she had a bed setup that included a “low-air loss mattress, a floor mat, and side rails.” While the padded floor “fall” mat would help in the event of a fall, the whole bed setup reportedly caused an “entrapment” zone, according to the lawsuit. Furthermore, the lawsuit alleges that she was found “with her knees on the fall mat, her head resting against the mattress and her chin pointing toward the side rail.” The nursing home claimed that the cause of death was a heart attack, while an autopsy by the county coroner's office found the cause of death to be positional asphyxia--a position that the body is in that prevents breathing. Moreover, the coroner's office received three “totally different stories" in regards to the elderly woman’s death.
Neglect in Nursing Homes Runs Rampant in Arkansas and Across the U.S.
Elder abuse and neglect is a growing problem. As the population ages, the number of people who are subjected to abuse and neglect is continuing to rise. Currently, one in three nursing home or assisted living residents have been abused or neglected. Most incidents go unreported, and residents are forced to cope with unclean clothes and linen, inaccurate doses of prescription medication, and untreated bedsores, infections, bruises, sprains, and even broken bones. Eventually, neglect can even lead to an early death, such as the incident described above.
Contact an Elder Abuse Attorney Today
If your loved one has been abused or neglected, do not hesitate to call us today at 870.782.4084. Talk to one of our experienced Jonesboro elder abuse attorney with Wells & Wells for immediate assistance.