Pittsburgh-area nursing home sued by patient's family

The decision to place a loved one in a nursing home is never an easy one to make. The task of finding the best care and a comfortable living situation for a family member while avoiding potential negligence or abuse can be challenging, as any Pittsburgh nursing home abuse lawyer knows.

One Pittsburgh-area family is mourning the death of a nursing home patient, which they believe was caused by the negligent actions of nursing home staff. The family filed a lawsuit against the nursing home and the nurses involved. They are seeking damages for medical expenses, pain and suffering and punitive damages.

According to reports, the nursing home patient suffered from sleep apnea and required a machine to aid in breathing during sleep. However, no machine was given to him in the nursing home. Additionally, on the patient's first night in the nursing home, he was administered drugs intended for another patient, then immediately after, was given the correct drugs. The patient was found dead the next morning.

Nursing homes may be held liable when a patient is harmed under the care of nursing home staff. A showing of negligence requires that the staff owed a particular duty of care to the patient, that the staff failed to carry out that duty and that failure caused the patient's injury or death.

In nursing home wrongful death cases, it may be difficult to distinguish whether the cause of death was due to action or inaction on the part of the staff, or if it was due to the patient's deteriorated condition. However, the fact that the patient had a preexisting medical condition does not necessarily mean that the nursing home will escape liability for injuries to the patient.

Source: Timesonline.com, "Nursing home, nurses sued for wrongful death," Kristen Doerschner, Oct. 23, 2012

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