An apparent nursing home suicide is under investigation at Heartland Nursing Home (a ManorCare facility) in Galesburg, IL. Using an oxygen tube and an electrical cord, the patient apparently fashioned a noose and hung himself from a bar on the ceiling which had been installed to help the man reposition himself— or did he?
While officials investigate this nursing home death, a primary focus of the investigation will center around if this patients death was indeed intentional or a situation where sloppy storage of medical equipment allowed the patient to become entangled— and eventually strangled to death.
As a nursing home lawyer, I certainly hope that this investigation evaluates this patient’s mental state both in general and immediately leading up to his death. Like people in all circumstances, nursing home patients need to be evaluated to determine if they are at risk for suicidal ideations. If needed nursing home staff should implement necessary counseling and safeguards to protect the patient from harming themselves.
Certainly, if this patient was indeed suicidal, i would hope that potentially dangerous items would have been removed from his room and staff would have done a better job looking after the patient to prevent this real tragedy.