While we would like to assume we can trust nursing homes with the care of our loved ones, sometimes nursing homes let us down. Sadly, many people are abused or neglected in Florida nursing homes every year. In fact, some elderly nursing home patients suffer from aspiration pneumonia—a form of nursing home neglect.
What is Aspiration Pneumonia in Nursing Homes?
Many elderly people cannot eat, drink, or inhale without aspirating. When foods or liquids are inhaled into the lungs, nursing home patients may be unable to cough up these items. When this occurs, bacteria can begin to grow and an infection of the lungs develops—known as aspiration pneumonia.
While this type of condition can occur with aging as people get weaker, those living in nursing homes should be watched and cared for to prevent this from happening. When nursing home patients aren’t properly cared for, they may develop aspiration pneumonia which can lead to hospitalization and even death.
The Seriousness of this Breathing Condition
Because nursing home residents are often bedridden and don’t get enough physical activity, they often suffer from a weaker immune system. This coupled with neglect, poor care, or being fed through a tube, can put elderly individuals at risk for developing aspiration pneumonia. However, if nursing home staff workers were mindful of the situation and provided quality medical care, this type of disease could be prevented.
Aspiration Pneumonia Signs
Nursing home staff members are trained in knowing what signs to look for in order to identify aspiration pneumonia and get patients the help they need. These signs include:
- Loud breathing or gurgling sounds when breathing
- Breathing difficulties
- Shortness of breath
- Trouble swallowing
- Raspy voice
When nursing home workers miss these signs and don’t get residents the quality medical care they need in a timely manner, they are committing nursing home neglect in Florida. While not preventing aspiration pneumonia in the first place is awful, not catching these aforementioned signs is inexcusable. When this happen, negligent nursing home workers and nursing homes should be held accountable for their actions.
While it is true that elderly individuals are at an increased risk of suffering from aspiration pneumonia, many people are victims of this disease as a result of nursing home neglect. Victims of nursing home neglect need to hold the nursing home liable for their injuries and damage. Additionally, family members of nursing home patients also have legal rights. If your loved one died as a result of aspiration pneumonia, you may have legal recourse to pursue a claim against the nursing home for your loved one’s death.
To find out about your legal rights, you should contact the Law Offices of David Benenfeld. We are experienced in Florida nursing home abuse and neglect cases and can speak with you in a free consultation today. Simply call us at [number type=”2″] or [number type=”1″].