Bed Sore Attorneys Advise: It’s All in The Family

Tiffany Duthu, a 35 year-old woman, was found guilty of neglecting her paralyzed mother, Clara. Clara Duthu passed away due to untreated bed sores which soon became infected. Now, the daughter faces up to fifteen years in prison after being convicted of cruelty and negligent homicide. Bed Sore lawyers discovered that Tiffany is the second family member who has been charged in this death already. Her father, Joseph, is currently serving a two year sentence in prison, while another daughter, Tessie Breaux is scheduled to go on trial later in 2011.

Woman Lived in Horrid Conditions Prior to Death

new jersey philadelphia bed sore attorneys family case Tiffany Duthu caseClara Duthu passed away at Leonard J. Chabert Medical Center due to sepsis. Her daughter’s conviction came following a three day trial before District Judge David Arceneaux. When Tiffany’s father was unable to take care of his wife due to his own medical issues, there was a two month span where she failed to provide assistance to her mother. Tiffany had acted as a caregiver in the past but steadily began to provide less help. Lawyers say that Tiffany made a statement to authorities in which she claimed to have neglected her mother as a way to get back at her other siblings who did not help. The judge said “it seems she simply stopped going to her mother’s house, knowing nobody else could change her diapers.” Bed sore attorneys found that Clara’s bed and sheets were covered in urine and feces, a terrible way for a life to come to an end. Bed sores can be caused by many things including bed bugs, getting a mattress protector can help. Here are some bed bug mattress cover reviews on the best protectors.

Bed Sore Attorneys of New Jersey and Philadelphia

If your loved one has recently suffered from a bed sore, you may have questions for our professionals regarding your legal rights. If you suspect that neglect or mistreatment played a factor in the development of a bed sore, Please contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation. You may also call for a free consultation in New Jersey at (856) 833-0600, or in Philadelphia at (215) 567-2380.

Nursing Home Neglect Leads to $2 Million Verdict Award in Georgia

new jersey philadelphia nursing home neglect attorneys million verdict award georgia bedsoresA jury in Georgia recently awarded $2million to Elizabeth Costlow for the wrongful death of her 82 year old mother, Ruby Mae Tyle. Tyler was a patient at the Rockmart Nursing and Rehabilitation Center for a little over 3 months when she passed away. Costlow contended that her mother died due to nursing home neglect. The jury found that the Subacute Services, Inc., based in Florida, was liable and awarded the large verdict in the 2008 death of Tyler. In the short time Tyler was a patient at the nursing home, the neglect in her care lead to the development of bed sores (pressure ulcers). The lawsuit claimed that the nursing home’s negligence led to these bed sores which, in turn, contributed to Tyler’s death.

Elderly Patients Deserve to Live and Die With Dignity

The Defense made a depraved argument that Tyler was sick with numerous illnesses and that she was going to die anyway. The plaintiff’s attorney argued that it wasn’t about whether Tyler was sick or going to die at some point, but that it was about being allowed to “die with dignity.” He argued that the pressure ulcers or bed sores were rooted in neglect at the nursing home and that these directly caused the patient’s death. Just because someone is at their last stages of their life doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be able to die with dignity!

Nursing Home Neglect Attorneys in New Jersey and Philadelphia

If you believe your loved one has been abused or neglected in a nursing home, get in touch with our professional nursing home neglect attorneys. We are dedicated to ensuring that all people have the right to live and die with dignity. Contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation. You may also call for a free consultation at (856) 833-1896 in New Jersey, and (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.

Arbitration Clauses Allow for Continued Nursing Home Abuse

new jersey philadelphia nursing home abuse attorneys mandatory arbitration agreementsCongress is considering the Fairness in Nursing Home Arbitration Act of 2009, which would invalidate mandatory arbitration agreements in nursing homes. This is an important law that needs to be passed in order to advance in the fight against nursing home abuse.

Nursing homes make you sign a mandatory arbitration agreement when they accept your loved one for admission. Initially, nursing homes win you over with their promises of good, attentive, compassionate, and empathetic care. The last thing you are thinking about at that time is a nursing home abuse lawsuit. If, however, your family does find itself in the midst of injuries suffered by your loved due to nursing home abuse and neglect, you bet that nursing home will be quick to remind you of the mandatory arbitration agreement they made you sign. This agreement means you cannot sue the facility. Since the nursing home has eliminated the chance a jury could punish them for providing the bad care that injured your loved one, the nursing home had very little incentive to make sure they provided good care. When your family wants to know how your loved one was injured, the promises made during admission will be replaced with excuses. Excuses cannot return your loved one’s dignity, or the pain these injuries force your loved one to endure during their limited remaining days on this earth. The nursing home also has little incentive to make sure it does not happen to the next family in your position, because they will be forced to sign a mandatory arbitration agreement too.

How does this happen?

You can’t provide the care and support your loved one needs, and you arrive at the realization you must place them in a nursing home. The reason may be for long term care, although hopefully it is for rehabilitation with the goal of sending them back home. You choose a nursing home to place your loved one. When signing the package of numerous documents presented to you during the admission process (picture all of the documents you signed when you bought your first house being presented to you one after the other), you will eventually be presented with a mandatory arbitration agreement. Unfortunately, few people understand what they are signing, or why they are signing it.

Many nursing home admissions are directly from a hospital, and occur after a medical emergency such as a stroke or broken hip. Families often have no choice but to accept the first available nursing home with an available bed. When families unknowingly sign away their right to sue the nursing home, they believe they will get the good care they are promised. The last thing on their mind is that the nursing homes will injure their loved one by allowing pressure sores that lead to infections and amputation of limbs; suffocation on bedrails and other restraining devices; serious fractures from preventable falls; physical and sexual assault; renal failure from dehydration; malnutrition; medication errors; and death from fires in unsafe buildings.

Mandatory Arbitration Agreements are Unfair

Now that you know what a mandatory arbitration agreement is, and what it means to the family of an abused nursing home resident, ask yourself if that is fair. What does it say to you about an industry that promises good care and at the same time asks you to sign a mandatory arbitration agreement that protects them from being held accountable for bad care? Nursing homes know that if a court upholds a mandatory arbitration agreement, a jury with the power to punish the nursing home for often deplorable conduct will never have a chance to hurt their nursing home in the only place that matters to them – the pocketbook.
The Fairness in Nursing Home Arbitration Act would end the practice of making families agree to give up the right to a jury trial in order to get their loved one accepted by a nursing home. Congress should send a message to the industry that injuring residents is not simply a cost of doing business. Compassion should be enough of a reason for a nursing home to provide the good care they promise. Since the industry has proven time and a gain that they will not do this voluntarily, Congress must keep open the only avenue that does hold them accountable – a jury who can listens to the evidence and judge their conduct.

NJ and PA Nursing Home Abuse and Wrongful Death Attorneys

If you or a loved one have suffered the effects of nursing negligence or abuse, call an experienced New Jersey or Pennsylvania Nursing Home Abuse attorney at the Mininno Law Office. We will work hard to get you to compensation you deserve!
Contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation or call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.

Nursing Home Alert – Watch Out for Pressure Sores

People who lay or sit in one position for long periods are at risk of developing pressure sores, also known as bedsores or decubitus ulcers. Nursing home residents are more likely to be confined to beds or chairs for long periods of time, and therefore more susceptible to developing pressure sores.

Bedsores or pressure sores occur when pressure on the skin shuts off blood vessels, depriving skin tissue of oxygen and nutrients. Most of us associate this feeling with “pins and needles” or “my leg fell asleep.” For most of us, shifting our weight or body position quickly gets us the feeling back in the affected body part. For nursing home residents, this is not always something they can do on their own. Good or proper nursing care is needed to identify and treat these issues for many nursing home residents. Bad or inattentive care can likewise lead to the development of these dangerous pressure sores.

If proper care is not given, large, deep sores can develop, sometimes exposing the muscle or bone below the skin. Untreated pressure sores can lead to infection, severe pain and death. This is especially true because incontinent residents often develop these open pressure sores in the sacral area of the low back. When a resident cannot control their bowel function, and they have a sacral pressure ulcer, infections such as E. Coli and MRSA often develop with easy entry in to the resident’s blood stream.

Generally, pressure sores can be prevented with proper care. Federal law requires nursing homes must make sure that residents entering the facility do not develop pressure sores; and that residents who have them are given treatment to promote healing and prevent infection. To prevent pressure sores, nursing homes must keep a resident’s skin clean and dry, maintain good nutrition and keep pressure off of vulnerable parts of the body. Changing the resident’s position as often as necessary relieves pressure. Good nursing practice usually dictates “turning and repositioning” the resident at least every two hours. Pressure relieving devices, such as pads and special mattresses, can also help when used timely and properly.

A nursing home must notify the resident’s physician immediately if he or she develops a pressure sore. Lack of communication is the biggest complaint I hear from family members. The nursing home has an obligation to communicate with the resident’s family about changes in their condition, as well as with the resident’s primary care physician. Nursing homes are often slow to notify the family or the physician when a pressure sore is developing in the early stages.

Considering that pressure sores can be so dangerous, even deadly, it is unclear why nursing homes are slow to communicate their existence early in the process. The nursing home resident has a much better chance for the pressure sore to heal if the wound is identified early, and a treatment plan is established. The longer the delay, the worse the wound gets; and the harder it is to treat.

It is unfortunate that good nursing care for pressure sores in a nursing home setting often takes a back seat to a culture of overworked caregivers. These staff members know what to do, but often don’t have enough time to do it due to a chronic culture in the nursing home industry of understaffing.

If you have a loved one in a nursing home, here are some things you can do to protect them from debilitating pressure sores:

1. Inspect their bodies for wounds or blemishes.
2. Ask to see body parts that are covered with bandages.
3. Ask if your loved one needs a turning and repositioning schedule.
4. Ask the nursing home if they maintain logs documenting that the care was provided.

Immediately contact your loved one’s primary care physician if you suspect your loved one has developed a pressure sore to be sure the wound is properly indentified, and that an appropriate care plan is immediately instituted.

Nursing Home Abuse in NJ or PA: Mininno Law Office

The NJ and PA nursing home abuse attorneys at the Mininno Law Office are dedicated to eradicating the disturbing trends of abuse and neglect in our nations nursing homes and long term care facilities.
Contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation. You may also call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, and (215) 567-2380 in Philadephia.

The National Quality Forum Outlines Medical Malpractice

new jersey philadelphia attorneys medical malpractice nursing home abuse national quality forum
27 Never Events - Occurences that should never take place within the walls of a healthcare facility.

The National Quality Forum is a non-profit organization that aims to improve the quality of healthcare for all americans.
The forum aims to do that through pursuit of three seperate missions:

  • Setting national priorities and goals for performance improvement;
  • Endorsing national consensus standards for measuring and publicly reporting on performance; and
  • Promoting the attainment of national goals through education and outreach programs.

NQF’s membership consists of a wide variety of healthcare stakeholders: consumer oraganizations, public and private purchasers, nurses, physicians, hospitals, healthcare researchers, and quality improvement organizations.

The NQF has recently published a list of 27 “never events” in healthcare. Never Events refer to events that, rightly, should never happen. Most of the events on the list would happen when a patient is being cared for at a healthcare facility, and constitue as medical malpractice and negligence or nursing home abuse.
A few of the events could happen within a patient’s home. Below is a list of the NQF’s 27 “Never Events.”

1. Surgery performed on the wrong body part
2. Surgery performed on the wrong patient
3. Performing the wrong surgical procedure on a patient  (conducive to symptoms)
4. Retention of a foreign object ina  patient after surgery or other procedure
5. Intraoperative or immediately post-operative death in a normal, healthy patient.
6. Patient death or serious disability associated with the use of contaminated drugs, devices, or biologics provided by the healthcare facility.
7. Patient death or serious disability associated with the use or function of a device in patient care in which the device is used or functions other than as intended.
8. Patient death or serious disability associated with intravascular air embolism that occurd while being cared for in a healthcare facility.
9. Infant discharged to the wrong person.
10. Patient death ot serious disability associated with the partient disappearance for more than four hours.
11. Patient death or serious disability associated with a medication error.
12. Patient suicide or attempted suicide resulting in serious disability, while being cared for in a healthcare facility.
13. Patient death or serious disability associated with a hemolytic reaction due to transfusion of the wrong blood type.
14. Maternal death or serious disability associated with a medication error.
15. Patient death or serious disability associated with hypoglycemia, the onset of which occurs while the patient is being cared for in a healthcare facility.
16. Death or serious disabilty associated with the failure to identify and treat jaundice in newborns.
17. Stage 3 or 4 bedsores or pressure sores acquired after admission to a healthcare facility.
18. Patient death or serious disability due to spinal manipulatice therapy.
19. Patient death or serious disability associated with an electric shock while being cared for in a healthcare facility.
20. Any incident in which a line designated for oxygen or other gas to be delivered to a patient contains the wrong gas or is contaminated by toxic substances.
21. Patient death or serious disability associated with a burn incurred from any source while being cared for in a healthcare facility.
22. Patient death associated with a fall while being cared for in a healthcare facility.
23. Patient death or serious disability associated with the use of restraints or bedrails while being cared for in a healthcare facility.
24. Any instance of care ordered by or provided by someone impersonating a physician, nurse, pharmacist, or other licensed healthcare provider.
25. Abduction of a patient at any age.
26. Sexual assault of  a patient within or on the grounds of a healthcare facility.
27. Death or significant injury of a patient or staff member resulting from a physical assault that occurs within or on the grounds of a healthcare facility.

Medical Malpractice or Nursing Home Abuse in NJ or PA?

These “never events” are sure instances of medical malpractice, and in some cases, nursing home abuse. If you or a loved one have experienced any of the events on the list, you should contact a NJ Medical Malpractice or Nursing Home Abuse attorney.

The team at the Mininno Law Office is ready to help you get the compensation you deserve. For a free case evaluation, contact the Mininno Law Office. Or simply call at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.

Health Alert– Botox Injections for Neurological Injuries Causing Death and Serious Illness in Patients

On February 8, 2008, the US Food and Drug Administration issued a safety alert regarding the use of Botox injections for neurological injuries. Prior to this date, the FDA had received reports for patients who have had severe respiratory side effects following the use of botulinum toxins type A and B. These reactions are believed to occur when the botulinum toxins spread in the body beyond the site where it is injected. The most serious cases associated with these injections resulted in hospitalization and even death in children treated for cerebral palsy associated limb difficulties. It is also worthwhile to note that this injection treatment has not been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for children or adults.

Although not approved, doctors have recently experimented with using botox injections in patients with neurological injuries. In this treatment, doctors inject small amounts of Botox into areas of the neck which purportedly relieves pain for up to 120 days before it wears off. Unfortunately, because the technique and treatment is poorly understood, some patients have had muscle paralysis to the esophagus. As a result, these patients are unable to swallow, nor function properly as fluid and food is aspirated into the lungs. Tragically, as of February, 16 deaths have occurred and 658 reports of injuries have been associated with Botox injections.

And while Botox is receiving a lot of negative attention in the United States, Europe continues to permit Botox to be used for this treatment. However, the Europeans require a specific warning before use that the treatment can result in long-standing muscle weakness or paralysis–especially among children.

Fortunately, The FDA continues to monitor and study this issue. However, for those who have suffered an adverse event related to Botox, I highly recommend that they complete the form online posted on the FDA”s website.

For further information filing a dangerous drug or medical malpractice lawsuit, click on the following lins:

Medical Malpractice lawyer in NJ