Lawsuit Highlights Problems At Washington Heights Nursing Home

lawyerA wrongful death lawsuit filed was recently filed on behalf of the Estate of Stanley Dancy against Washington Heights Nursing Home.  The lawsuit alleges Mr. Dancy was admitted to the Chicago nursing home for rehabilitation for a recent illness.  Within a month of his admission, Mr. Dancy developed four advanced-stage pressure sores, a urinary tract infection and malnourishment.

The elderly man was sent to Mount Sinai Hospital for treatment of his medical conditions.  After receiving inpatient hospital treatment, Mr. Dancy was discharged to a different nursing home in the Chicago area.  “Unfortunately, by that time, it was too late to reverse the deterioration of his condition,” said his daughter, Charlotte Parnell.

The Illinois Department of Public Health investigated Washington Heights for two weeks following Mr. Dancy’s death and no violations were found according to a spokeswoman for IDPH.

I do not know what the cause of death was in this matter, but this situation demonstrates the devastating spiral of medical complications that is likely to develop when an elderly person is afflicted with severe pressure sores.  Once advanced stage pressure sores develop, it becomes increasingly difficult for a elderly person’s body to battle the wounds.  Literally, all of the person’s energy is used to battle the wound.

When the pressure sores are accompanied by other medical complications like a urinary tract infection and malnourishment, the body is practically defenseless to battle one–let alone all of the medical conditions.

Although the Illinois Department of Public Health investigated this matter and found no violations, the finding itself does not mean the nursing home may escape liability.  Given the fact that this man contracted three serious medical conditions during the first month of his stay, the nursing home obviously did not identify or properly address the man’s needs.

Washington Heights Nursing Home has been the subject of multiple investigations by IDPH regarding nursing home abuse and neglect.

For more information on nursing homes in Washington look here. For laws related to Washington nursing homes, look here.

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