A recently filed wrongful death lawsuit alleges that ManorCare’s Hinsdale, IL facility was negligent in caring for a 74-year-old patient at the facility. According to the lawsuit, filed in Cook County, the patient died from acute renal failure that was brought about by severe dehydration within 30 days her he admission to the facility due to the fact that the facility failed to monitor the patients fluid intake and output.
Acute Renal Failure
Many people use acute renal failure interchangeably with kidney failure. Either way, acute renal failure may result after a patient has been denied adequate fluid intake. In the nursing home setting, I frequently encounter cases where patients suffer various types of injuries simply due to the fact that the facility is not keeping them adequately hydrated.
Particularly in the elderly, it is extremely important for staff to monitor the needs of each patient. Medications, incontinence, and body composition are all factors that play into how much fluid each patient requires to function optimally.
In some situations, where a patient has a history of dehydration or urinary tract infections (UTI’s), a physician may order the staff to keep specific tabs on fluid intake and urine output to assure the patient’s health doesn’t deteriorate.
However, even without specific physician orders relating to monitoring such specifics, there are many obvious indications that a patient may not be getting sufficient fluids. Common signs of dehydration include:
- Sunken eyes
- Cracked lips and tongue
- Ashen skin coloring
- Lack of urine and / or very strong smelling urine and darkly colored urine
- Rapid weight loss
Certainly, nursing home staff should be focused on preventing this relatively preventable medical complication and take steps necessary to prevent it. If you have a situation that you believe is related to dehydration, I would be happy to discuss your legal options. As always there is never a charge for a consultation.
Acute renal failure of medical type in an elderly population (PDF) Nephrology Dailysis Transplantation (1998)
Dehydration and the Elderly, Illinois Counsel on Long-Term Care
Hinsdale nursing home sued over resident’s death, Mysuburbanlife.com September 2, 2010