Dad has passed away December 16th

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Hi everyone,
I haven't posted in quit some time. I am the one that had the problems with nursing homes and the way they pick and choose patients when my father was in need of rehab. Well, it was in our estimation that the nursing home he did end up in after another 39 days in the hospital has now contributed to his death.

Dad was in a nursing home for rehab and ended up being taken to the ER with CHF. After spending 39 days in the hospital and all the fluid being gone, his cardiologist said his heart was much better then he expected and he was ready for rehab again. He was discharged to another nursing home. After being there for 3 days, his condition started going downhill quickly. The doctor at the home said he was severley dehydrated and wanted him to go to the hospital for an IV. He was taken by ambulance and the ER said he was NOT dehydrated but had fluid around his lungs. They gave dad massive doses of lacix and sent him back to the nursing home the following day.

For 2 weeks we watched as my father could not hardly move. He was sleeping all the time, he lost his appetite, he loved to eat, would not drink anything. He complained of stomach pains, was bruising easily, pains in the back of his head, his dementia was intensifying, he started to hallucinate. They had no idea why this was happening.

One day my brother happened to be there while they were giving my father his medication. The nurse was crushing up my dads pills. My brother saw this and asked why she was crushing his pills. She said we do that with all the patients, it makes it easier for them to swallow. My dad was on Depakote ER for seizures, and right across the top of the card in bold letters it reads DO NOT CRUSH! They were pumping him with 1000 milligrams of this time released medication every day in a crushed form for 2 weeks before my brother caught them. After researching the side effects of Depakote, my dad had the majority of the symptoms of overdose. All the nursing home could do was apologize for their mistake.

On December 9th, my father was having severe chest pains. The doctor at the home said she thought is was bronchitis, and started treating him for it. On December 11th we received a phone call that my fathers blood count had dropped and the dr. felt he should go to the hospital for a blood transfusion. He was taken to the ER, and we then found out that my father had had a heart attack.

He was admitted to the hospital, and still would not eat or drink. What little food or liquid he did take in would make him start choking and coughing. He was still sleeping all day and up at night. He was having anxiety attacks and bad mood swings. He barely paid attention when you were talking to him. Basically just stared into space. They removed the heart monitors after 3 days and said he didn't need them anymore. We had signed a DNR order because we knew he wasn't going to get any better and we did not want him to suffer.

December 16th at 5:30am we received a phone call from the hospital telling us my dad had passed away at 5:18am. We requested an autopsy be done because of this Depakote episode. There was no other reason my father would have failed so quickly the way he did. He was up walking with his walker when he was admitted to the nursing home for rehab and was eating and drinking with no problems at all. He was happy and alert. In 3 days his entire life went downhill after being there. The doctors at the hospital told us he died of aspiration. They tried to talk us out of an autopsy saying it wasn't necessary at his age. We still wanted one done.

That afternoon I received a call from the Medical Examiner telling me they were going to handle my father case and would supeona his medical records from the nursing home and hospital. They called me yesterday with the results.

My father had died of a heart attack. Being that the hospital removed the heart monitors saying his heart was fine, they were clueless. He had a blocked artery in his heart and one heart muscle that was not functioning at all. The hospital couldn't see this when he was in there and had numerous tests done? There was damage to his liver and lungs, which the examiner told me was caused from pressure from his heart not working properly. The pancreas and liver, and heart are the 3 major organs that are affected by Depakote. The examiner said he could not find any traces of Depakote in my fathers stomach but they were sending it out for further research. It had already been 5 days from the time my brother caught them crushing the pills to the time my father had his autopsy. My gut feeling is they discontinued giving him the Depakote all together because they couldn't get him to swallow the pill whole, but made us think they were still giving it to him. The medical examiner also said that there were signs my father may have suffered another stroke. This would happen with the Depakote either not being given or being crushed because it then goes into the stomach instead of being released properly and it will not do what it's supposed to do which is stop seizures.

All these conflicting stories, have triggered us to hire a lawyer for a mal practice suit. Administering medication wrong which probably caused his decline in health. Wrongful diagnosis by the hospital about his heart. The cause of death logged by the hospital and what the medical examiner said being two different stories.
My poor father had to suffer in the last 2 weeks of his life, due to a cardiologist that said he was ready for discharge and a nursing home that poisoned him with medication.

Had the medical examiner not felt that there was something suspicious in his medical records from the hospital, they would have given the pathology department at the hospital the ok to do my fathers autopsy. Being that the Medical Examiners office took his case and called me hours after the autopsy was complete, leads me to believe my fathers death was expedited due to neglect and error.

I miss my father so much already. Staying home this past year to help my brother take care of him brought our family close. I'm glad I was able to spend an entire year devoted to my father and his care. I am so angry at this end result. It should have never happened this way.



I am so sorry for your loss. I can almost understand how you feel about the nursinghome and the hospitals neglect of your dad. It seems they just want the paycheck and that the idividual needs of a patient are neglected. I work at a healthcare system which involves 3 nursing homes and two hospitals, We strive to be the best for our patients but there are still mistakes made I am sure. My dad as a matter of fact. I think when there are too many facilities involved and too many doctors involved these issues arise. The one doctor my Dad had was so self involved he never had time to answer my questions which really pissed me off and I let the web site of the hospital he works at know it in no uncertain terms. But had not enough proof to go any further than that. Get em A person with so many things wrong with them deserves the dignity to be treated with the best of care they certainly make enough money to do a proper job. I know it hurts and I am so sorry it has to be at this time of the year. Keep us posted with the results as they come. You are wise to hire a lawyer. My deepest condolences. neon
My heart hurts for you and your family. Remember your dad doesn't hurt anymore and he would want you to smile for him. You know you did your best and your dad knew this. Hold your head up high and know you did everything you could to make his time left on this earth as good as you could. Know in your heart your dad felt your love for him. I will say a prayer for you and your brother. All anyone can do on this earth is let your mother or father know is that you love them . God bless you......Bennie
I feel so very deeply for you. I totally understand what you are going through right now because nearly the same exact situation happened to my Dad in 2005. I do hope that you do not permit yourself to place any blame on yourself for what happened though because based on what you have written, you must know deep down that you did all that you possibly could for your Dad just as I did. However, I believe that you are totally right to seek justice on his behalf since he can not. After all, some doctors are not worthy to practice medicine and should be held accountable and also removed from their positions, if appropriate. God Bless you and keep you in His perfect peace always.


I am so sorry for your loss. We are all with you while you pursue this. If your lawyer hasn't mentioned it already, you might consider filing a complaint with the dept. of health under title 22 - the administrator, don and staff need to be held personally accountable with an investigation and deficiency / corrective action / citation issued. It is so sad when sloppy work results in tragedy.
I would do as suggested bt Cat-I called the DEPT OF hEALTH about the lack of following the correct proceedures for MRSA and I Called Medicare about the hosp throwing the husband our of the hospital too early and he was kept in another three more days. Unfortunatly many nurses crush pills when they should not do this all they have to do is call the pharmacy dept to learn if a med, can be crushed or broken unb half-usually if a pill can be broken it will be scored- the problem in most hospitals do not use mistakes to teach but to get staff in trouble, One time a nurse scolded me in front of a pt. about wet to dry dressings removeal and I went to the wound nurse and she wrote the correct proceedure in our staff letter-she has no idea the staff did not know the correct way-which I had done the correct way. Allways question anything you are concerned about a good nurse will use it as a teaching tool and not be offended.
Hello again,
Thank you for the kind words, support and prayers. We have tried 2 different lawyers here that work on wrongful death and mal practice with doctors, nursing homes and hospitals. They have both refused to handle our case. It infuriates me because the reason they won't handle it is there isn't enough MONEY in it for them or for us. It isn't about the money, it's about the stupidity and neglect that lead to my fathers death.

We have pretty much given up on finding a lawyer. I am going to file a complaint with the Dept. of Health against the nursing home. Also against my fathers cardiologist that would not pursue the other ailments my father came down with while in the hospital and never telling us the condition of his heart. All we were told was his heart was better then expected and he could be discharged.

I chose to take an early severance from work so I could be with my father and help care for him full time. I had no idea the economy and this country would fall apart and I wouldn't be able to find another job. My family was more important but now I'm am suffering the consequences. The stress this past year has been unbearable, and now that I can start to take care of my own health, I have no health insurance. I know all things happen for a reason, and I hope there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

I will let you know what happens with the health dept, if anything. These nursing homes and doctors have too many ways to hide their mistakes. It just makes me sick to think of the way they get away with such things, especially where the elderly are involved.

Again, thank you all for your support. God Bless.
Cindy I am so sorry for your loss. I understand the problems with the lawyer. My mother was mis-diagnosed over 4 years ago, never treated for a kidney that had been blocked and went unnoticed. We didn't find out until Oct. of last year the kidney had died, and she had bladder cancer. The cancer has moved unbelievably attacking her other kidney, and is in her lungs and bones. My point is, until we found the wonderful doctor we did, she went undiagnosed.

She went undiagnosed when she had a walnut sized hole in her hip bone (she complained of the pain, the doctor said it was in her head), we switched doctors, a full hip replacement. The doctor that got it right married and moved to california. Her replacement didn't listen when when she switched moms meds and mother complained of a metallic taste in her mouth and pain in her back and abdomen. A side affect of the new meds was deterioration of enamel on teeth. We switched doctors, she had to have emergancy gall bladder surgery and was put back on her previous medications. She was to frail by that time to have surgery to remove the teeth roots from her mouth, so now, no teeth and painful gums. The doc that got it right was diagnosed himself with colon cancer, so didn't notice the 12 urinary track infections in 10 months, the weight loss, the back pain. I moved to a larger home to move mom in with us and found a great doctor....too late.

It would be nice to have a system other than writing a compaint and hoping someone listens before the next elderly patient gets misdiagnosed or dies due to sub par care, and lawyers not wanting to touch a case so blatently malpractice because they can't make any money.

I too have been slammed by the economy. My husband lost his job, I took a temporary leave to care for mom from mine. I now have to go back to work just to buy food. I can't sleep at night wondering how I am going to keep a roof over my childrens head and pay the electric bill. We are going to loose our home, not because we over extened ourselves, but because of the greed of other people.

I believe in Karma though. I believe all of us who have taken the preciouse time we have with our parents, grandparents, whoever, put ouselves out there, and cared, just cared, are settling our Karma. We may not see the light now, but someday we will. We will not be the ones who have to explain why, the ones that turned a blind eye will.

So, God Bless to you. I am unbelievably sorry for your loss.
So sorry for your loss and pain. Greed is a mean animal and they will be delt with. This will come back and bite them. Remember God does not like ugly........ Lay this at thelord's feet and leave it with him. He will take care of this in his time.

Hi everyone I told you about my Mom passing away march 6 2009, and I had to tell my Dad and that I was mad about how she died and that I was hurting so bad but I had to pull it together so I could take care of Dad. Well my Dad passed away on april 19th at 1:10 p.m. in my arms. I cannot tell you the pain that I am feeling! the lose of both my parents in just a little over 1 month, I am not sure how I am suppose to feel but I am so depressed I do not know what to do! mothers Day is coming up and my mom is not here, she was my best friend they have lived with me and my husband for the past 10 years now this house is so empty! please if anyone has any advice at all I could use it. thanks pintos.
Dear pintos, so sorry for your loss, and we grieve with you. I pray the Lord comfort you in this difficult time. The process is painful, but I hope you can find peace in the idea that you are a hero, and they are no longer struggling. Are there special memories you can focus on in gratefulness? How about family support? Perhaps you could have a memorial to honor your parents. I'm praying for you in this time of your mourning. Take care of you and your husband. Anne

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