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Nursing home staff accused of ignoring alarms for 2 hours


Posted On behalf of Michael D'Amico of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Feb 20, 2014 in Nursing Home Neglect

There is a reason why there are alarms in nursing homes. If a patient is admitted to a West Hartford nursing home with a serious condition, he or she may be hooked up to machines that will trigger an alarm if anything serious happens. Alarms, for the most part, do not indicate an individual is doing well. That means, then, that if a West Hartford staff person hears an alarm going off, it is his or her responsibility to respond to whatever emergency is happening. Not doing so could be considered neglect.

According to the New York attorney general, nine staff members of a Long Island nursing home have committed such serious neglect that criminal charges needed to be filed. While this situation may seem unique, there are, unfortunately, incidents of severe neglect in Connecticut, too. Though the laws are slightly different, Connecticut nursing homes can be held similarly responsible for poor care.

In this case, nursing home staff apparently ignored an alarm that rang every 15 seconds for over two hours, warning staff that a patient was not connected to her ventilator. Had they looked in on the woman and responded to the alarm, she may never have died. Tragically, because of this alleged neglect, she did.

Now, her family members are filing a malpractice lawsuit against the nursing home. While the family will clearly win some money if they win, the daughter of the woman who died also said that no one should have to go through what her mother did. This lawsuit appears to be just as much about preventing further harm as it is about holding the nursing home liable for its neglect.

The death of any family member is difficult, but when it was caused by a lack of medical care, especially by a facility in which medical care is to be expected, it is even harder.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, "NY prosecutor arrests 9 in nursing home probe," Feb. 11, 2014