Archive for July, 2014

Pressure Ulcers and Expensive Care Plague New Jersey Nursing Homes

By admin

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

According to a recent survey over 8 percent of New Jersey nursing home residents were reported to suffer from pressure ulcers, also known as bed sores.  This ranks New Jersey higher than the national average, which has a median rate of 5.9 percent, and placed them second-worst in this category.

New Jersey nursing home residents also fared poorly when it came to cost of services; ranking sixth-highest in the nation.

The report, sponsored by AARP as well as the Commonwealth Fund and the SCAN Foundation, ranked NJ 26th overall after some of its problems were mitigated by nursing home practices that were working; such as 8th lowest staff turnover rate and fourth lowest number of patients prescribed anti-psychotic medication.

Eight percent of residents with pressure ulcers is a statistic that is not acceptable!  Pressure ulcers are avoidable and they are a sign of nursing home neglect.   If you or a loved one is not receiving the care you are paying for, and deserve, contact us immediately so we can help!

Medical Errors: Experts Tell Senate That Hospital Patients Are No Safer Today Then 15 Years Ago

By admin

Monday, July 28th, 2014

On July 17th Healthcare Experts told a Senate Subcommittee that American Hospitals are no safer than they were 15 years ago when the Institute of Medicine published its report “Too Err is Human”.  An alarming number of patients are still being harmed and even dying due to preventable medical errors.

Recent estimates of premature death associated with preventable harm to patients may be close to 400,000 a year according to a report in Outpatient Survey magazine.   Medical errors are considered the third leading cause of death in the U.S. – after heart disease and cancer.

Speakers at the Senate hearing called for industry-wide changes such as more reliable data, metrics and monitoring systems and said any improvement so far have been limited, sporadic and inconsistent.

Dr. Tejai Gandi, president of the National Patient’s Safety Foundation commented, “A culture where people are afraid to speak out about errors won’t get a hospital very far on any initiative”.

The lawyers at Pellettieri Rabstein & Altman have seen the devastating effects of medical errors and negligence.   We understand that holding medical providers responsible for preventable errors is one way to try to facilitate change.

Hip Fractures in Nursing Home Residents often lead to death or immobility within six months

By admin

Monday, July 7th, 2014

Half of nursing home residents who have a hip fracture either die or lose the ability to walk on their own in the six months after the injury, according to a new study.

Recently published findings from the from the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine indicate that nursing home residents older than 90, and those who did not have surgery for the fracture, were most likely to die or become completely disabled.   Of those who had not died, 28 percent were newly dependent on others to get around.

Results also showed “marked decreases” in various activities of daily living such as eating, bathing, dressing or moving in bed, said Neuman, assistant professor of anesthesiology and critical care at Perelman.

“When nursing home residents can no longer ambulate, this restricts their ability to participate in activities at the nursing home,” said Lauren Beaupre, who has studied hip fracture at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada.  “They will likely spend more time in bed, which can only increase their frailty”.

Nursing homes must take the risk of falls and hip fractures seriously. Nursing homes, assisted living facilities and hospitals are obligated to identify patients and residents at risk for falling and develop plans to prevent falls. When a facility does not develop a plan, fails to develop a reasonable plan, or does not follow the plan, the nursing home or other facility should be held responsible for a hip fracture that results from a fall as well as the other debilitating conditions that result from it.