Mom had dementia and we needed 24 hour help with her care so her doctor told us to put her in a nursing home. We looked all over and most all of them were full, we did find a nice one however.
We admitted her and she was there two weeks and fell in her room at 11:45pm. I was not informed until 6:30 the next morning. The male nurse told me that he heard a noise and went to her room and she had fallen make a very large bruise on her forehead and shoulder and her ribs were hurting. He asked how she fell and she said she did not know and her glasses were laying on the floor.
He said he called her in house doctor who told him to hold ice on it and keep an eye on her. Another nurse and the Director of Nursing kept calling me and telling me that Mom was fine, no problems and kept saying there is no need for you to come her to the home she is absolutely fine.
I then got a call from them that they were sending her to a hospital 3 miles from the home because they had checked her INR since she takes Coumadin and it was way too high at 5.2 when it should be between 2 and 3. I asked are you sure this has nothing to do with her fall and the hematoma on her forehead. I was assured over and over that it had nothing to do with the fall. The nursing home x-rayed her head and chest and she was fine no injuries and nothing with her chest, no pneumonia, nothing.
Stories began changing and the male nurse said he had given her, her walker this morning and Mom walked down to the dining room and eaten breakfast and he walked her back to her room to relax. A female nurse called and said She had walked my mother to the dining room for breakfast only she said she used a wheelchair and that my mother had eaten well.
The male nurse said she fell at 11:45pm, the Nursing Director said she was called about the fall at 10pm, the Doctor said her was called between 1 and 2 am. There were other discrepancies as well.
The bottom line was that my mother fell and injured herself and the Nursing Home did not seek medical help for her for over 16+ hours.
When she arrived at the hospital in an ambulance, my two sisters and i met her. She was totally non responsive and could not open her eyes, her arms and hands were rigid and curled inward on her chest and she was lying in a fetal position. All she could do was moan in pain. The ER doctor asked how she was normally or was this normal for her....we said NO THIS IS NOT NORMAL, SHE WALKS AND TALKS AND OPENS HER EYES....THIS IS ABSOLUTELY NOT OUR MOTHER.
She had a CT Scan which showed bleeding in 3 areas of her brain and very high Coumadin levels. The ER doctor immediately had the nurse start vitamin K and Fresh Frozen Plasma to thicken the blood and stop the bleed which had been going for 16 hours or more.
The doctors finally told us that she was not going to get any better than she was. She would be much much worse than she had been, most likely non responsive forever. My sisters and I then had to discuss her wishes and DNR. We finally had to decide to put her in hospice care and since she was so bad she was kept in the hospital on the hospice floor.
She was admitted on September 9th and died September 17th, due to the nursing homes neglect and failure to secure medical attention for her for over 16 hours.
Can they be held responsible? Can they be sued for such neglect?