Family Sues Nursing Home Over Mother’s Tracheostomy Tube Death

Unfortunately, every day brings new stories about horrific instances of elder abuse and mistreatment. While any form of elder abuse is unacceptable, our San Diego nursing home abuse attorneys know that many instances of abuse or neglect may go undetected because they may not seem to be obviously caused by mistreatment. For example, our lawyers recently explained the important connection between nurse staffing ratios, quality of care at long-term nursing facilities, and elder abuse. It is tragic when one’s loved ones are harmed when the people entrusted with their care fail to adhere to the standard of care.

Under California elder abuse law, caregivers must provide the degree of care that a reasonable person in a similar position would exercise. This includes providing medical care appropriate for a senior’s physical and mental health needs. It also includes protecting elders from health and safety hazards. Skilled nursing home facilities typically have written care plans or nursing care protocols they must follow in order to ensure they are complying with the standard of care. The failure to follow a care plan can lead to serious injury or death, and can be the basis of a San Diego elder neglect lawsuit. wheelchair%202.jpg

Sadly, not all nursing home workers follow the protocols established to ensure the safety of their patients. According to Wood TV, a family is suing a nursing home facility over the death of their mother. The elderly woman died when her tracheostomy tube got caught around a bed rail and became dislodged. A tracheostomy tube provides an air passage to help a person when the usual route for breathing is obstructed or impaired in some way. Because of her size, the woman was supposed to have the help of two nursing home assistants to ensure that her tracheostomy tube did not dislodge. However, when the accident occurred only one assistant was helping the woman.

When the nursing assistant decided not to follow protocol, she put the elderly woman’s life at risk. As she was being moved, the woman warned the assistant that she was stuck. Eventually, the assistant called for help. A registered nurse who responded to the call stated that the elderly woman looked fearful and was saying that she could not breathe. At some point, the woman’s tracheostomy tube came out completely and her condition deteriorated. She later died at a local hospital.

Our Riverside elder abuse lawyers understand how upsetting it can be to realize that a parent or relative may not be receiving appropriate or adequate care. Our attorneys can help you understand the signs and symptoms of elder abuse and mistreatment so your family can make the best decision possible about a loved one’s care. We have successfully sued nursing homes and other care facilities in civil courts for injuries caused in a custodial care setting. If your loved one has suffered elder abuse or neglect, we are here to help your family get the justice you deserve and to ensure that such abuse will not happen again.

To report suspected elder abuse, mistreatment, or exploitation in California, please contact your local Adult Protective Service agency. To report suspected elder mistreatment in a long-term care facility, call 1-800-231-4024. As always, if it is a medical emergency, please call 911 immediately.

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