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Pennsylvania Families Should Monitor Nursing Home Patients’ Care

The family of 54-year-old Rodney L. Volkening of South Elgin, Illinois, has filed a lawsuit against Tower Hill Healthcare Center, a South Elgin nursing home, for negligence in Volkening’s care, reports the Elgin, Illinois Courier-News. Volkening had spina bifida, a permanently disabling birth defect that, combined with his other medical conditions, left him in need of constant medical care.

Yet when Volkening was admitted to a hospital after his time at Tower Hill, hospital staff observed that he had not been receiving proper medical care at all. His colostomy bag had exploded and there was “a large amount of stool around” him, according to Volkening’s family’s attorney, Craig Brown. According to the lawsuit, Volkening had severe bedsores “that were covered by an old dressing covered by stool. He had a fever of 107 degrees with apparently no anti-fever medication being given to him at the nursing home prior to his arrival.” “Because he presented to the emergency room with poor oral hygiene and poor skin care,” Brown said, hospital staff suspected abuse and negligence at the nursing home and filed a report with the Illinois Department of Human Services.

Volkening’s death certificate lists a staph infection and pneumonia as the causes of his death. While the family’s lawsuit does not allege that the neglect caused Volkening’s death, Brown said that they are investigating whether the nursing home’s poor hygiene led to the infection that caused his death. Regardless of the outcome of that investigation, Brown and Volkening’s family still intend to hold the nursing home responsible for failing to live up to its “statutory obligation not to violate the rights of any resident, including the obligation not to abuse or neglect any resident,” as laid out in the state Nursing Home Care Act. As a Philadelphia injury lawyer it is important to make sure a nursing home is living up to its obligations under both state and federal regulations.

It is sad that nursing home patients and their families are unable to depend on the professional integrity of nursing home staff to ensure patients’ health and safety. As a Pennsylvania nursing home abuse lawyer, I have seen many cases involving neglect that led to serious illness or wrongful death.

If you or a loved one has endured neglect or abuse at the hands of a nursing home, please contact an experienced Philadelphia nursing home negligence attorney at Rosenbaum and Associates. You can call us at 1-800-7-LEGAL-7 or email us through our Web site to set up a free consultation.

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