While nursing homes are indeed medical facilities that have a duty to care for their patients medical needs, I am always dumbfounded by the number of errors that seem to get routinely made— many of which have nothing to do with specialized medical skills— just a lack of plain common sense.
In my minds eye, what frequently puts nursing home errors into a different stratosphere in terms of severity is that many of the errors fail to get detected over an extended period of time and that the victims are people who are already at risk for harm.
Call it poor judgment, carelessness or if you’re feeling blunt— just plain stupidity, an episode of involving a relatively foolish event at an Illinois Nursing Home has once again resulted in tragedy to an elderly patient who suffered from the staff members’ failure to perceive the error.
The incident now forms the basis of a nursing home negligence lawsuit in St. Clair County Circuit Court. As reported in the Madison St. Clair Record, the family of a now deceased nursing home patient has initiated legal proceedings against the facility where she was a patient as well as a medical device manufacturer in relation to an event in which liquid oxygen caused frostbite to the face of an elderly patient.
While the medical device manufacturer may have been negligent in the how the oxygen canister was designed and delivered to the facility, responsibility for the incident has also been assigned to staff at the nursing home who failed to supervise the administration of the oxygen necessary for breathing and take corrective measures when staff acknowledged seeing “a cloud of white vapor” around the patients face.
In a situation like this, it certainly sounds as though there’s more than enough blame to be spread around to the different players, however what continues to astound me is how many nursing home staff members simply go about their task without any questioning if the work that they are doing is actually helping the patient or is even being correctly done.
More emphasis needs to be placed upon identifying problems as they arise in the nursing home population. Hopefully, teaching employees to think as opposed to just do, do, do could nip some of these foolish errors quickly before they become a sad situation involving harm or death of others.
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