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Nursing home blamed for deceased woman's infection, dehydration

A woman in another state recently claimed that her aunt died in a nursing home due to the facility's carelessness. As a result, she decided to file a lawsuit against the home. She is seeking over a quarter of a million dollars in her lawsuit. Anybody in West Virginia who loses a loved one to dehydration, infections or other health problems caused by nursing home negligence has the right to take legal action.

In the recent out-of-state case, the plaintiff claimed that her aunt was in extreme pain when she passed away at the nursing home. During her final few days at the home, she allegedly had a serious urinary tract infection and also suffered from dehydration. According to the lawsuit, efforts to eliminate the woman's pain were not effective.

The woman, who moved into the nursing home back in 2008, was given the drug lorazepam, a sedative more commonly known as Ativan, in April of 2015. Staff administered this drug through the woman's feeding tube due to the woman's reported constant agitation and yelling. Department of health investigators arrived at the home a couple of days later and found that the woman's doctor had not been told about her condition despite her being in pain and receiving more mediation. When her doctor was contacted, he ordered that she be taken to the hospital. The woman ended up suffering a heart attack in the hospital emergency room.

According to the lawsuit, the nursing home violated the state's nursing home care act. The facility has also been accused of wrongful death and medical negligence. Nursing homes in West Virginia and elsewhere that fail to properly care for residents and thus cause them to die from problems such as infections or dehydration may be held liable in civil court for these deaths.

Source: madisonrecord.com, "Cahokia nursing center sued over woman's 2015 death", Karen Kidd, May 2, 2017

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