Recently, California state officials have concluded that two Orange County nursing homes will be fined for providing insufficient care for their patients. In both cases, the inadequate care led to the wrongful deaths of two people.
In the first case, West Alamitos Health Care center was fined $100,000 for the death of a woman who was not given enough fluids. She got so severely dehydrated that she was transferred to the hospital and died six days later of acute kidney failure. How a facility to withhold fluids is just beyond comprehension and the fine certainly does not value the life of this woman.
The second facility fined $80,000 was at Huntington Valley HealthCare Center in Huntington Beach. In this case, the nurses did not call 9-1-1 when the patient was having a heart attack, even though his advanced directive specifically stated he wanted CPR in an emergency situation. The staff misread the instructions and the patient subsequently died.
In both cases, the personnel involved have are no longer employed by these facilities. But is this really enough? Two people died because of inattentive medical staff! Orange County Personal Injury attorneys frequently see elderly clients mistreated and abused by facilities with inadequately trained staff or staff that is apathetic to the needs of their patients. It is simply unacceptable, and fines that nothing more than a slap on the hand are unacceptable when a death occurs.
When you leave an elderly loved one in a nursing home, make certain that the staff reads and understands the medical directive. As a Orange County personal injury attorney, I recommend that you even insist on meeting the staff members that are primarily assigned to care for your family member. It is harder for them to ignore your loved one if they will also have to answer to you and you can make a judgment call if the staff member is not adequately trained to care for you family. Additionally, check the facility out with the state and county licensing boards to check for various fines.
Written by James Ballidis, a California personal injury and auto accident attorney with 25 years experience practicing in Newport Beach California.