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NURSING HOME NEGLECT INDICATION IN MINNESOTA: DEHYDRATION

In modern times and in developed countries, dehydration is no longer something that most people think twice about, let alone worry about. Especially in nursing homes and other care facilities where patients are expecting to receive high-quality care, dehydration is a concern that is far from the mind.

Which is why the statistics regarding the number of nursing home patients throughout the United States that suffer from dehydration are so shocking. Indeed, one source reports that at least one-third of all nursing home patients suffer from dehydration, malnutrition, or both.

Dehydration in nursing homes is a serious problem, and one that should not go ignored. If you believe that your elderly loved one is dehydrated, don’t hesitate to take action. Our lawyers at the Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm LLC can help. Call us today for a free consultation and more information.

UNDERSTANDING NURSING HOME NEGLECT AND DEHYDRATION

When a nursing home resident is dehydrated, it is likely that that dehydration is closely related to malnutrition; not only does food contain water that aids with hydration, but malnutrition can also lead to health conditions that may contribute to dehydration. In many cases, a resident will suffer from both dehydration and malnutrition, which can lead to severe deterioration of a patient’s condition.

Dehydration in a nursing home setting isn’t inevitable. Instead, dehydration typically occurs as a result of nursing home neglect. This neglect is characterized by:

  • Failing to ensure the resident is consuming enough liquids, or being given fluids intravenously if necessary;
  • Failing to properly supervise the resident and assist during mealtimes;
  • Lack of accessible fluids – i.e. not providing water at meals;
  • Poor staff to patient ratio; and
  • Failing to treat other conditions and health complications that can lead to dehydration, such as diabetes, the use of certain medications, vomiting or diarrhea.

THE SYMPTOMS & EFFECTS OF NURSING HOME DEHYDRATION

Symptoms and effects of dehydration should not be taken lightly. When the body does not have the proper amount of fluids, it cannot function properly. While symptoms start out mild, they can quickly become severe and serious. Symptoms of dehydration include:

  • Dry mouth;
  • Lack of tears;
  • Dry eyes;
  • Sunken eyes or cheeks;
  • Thirst;
  • Infrequent urination;
  • Fatigue;
  • Balance and coordination issues;
  • Dizziness;
  • Cramping in limbs/muscles;
  • Headaches;
  • Feeling unwell;
  • Dark urine;
  • Bloat;
  • Low blood pressure; and
  • Rapid pulse.

Dehydration’s symptoms and effects do not stop there; dehydration can be very dangerous and deadly. For example, when the body does not have enough fluids, kidney function is impaired. This could lead to lack of consciousness, which causes an elderly person to fall, which could subsequently result in a number of other injuries, such as a traumatic brain injury or bone fracture injury. Dehydration is a slippery slope that can be hard to treat once decline begins – in fact, it can be a fatal condition.

PREVENTING DEHYDRATION AMONGST ELDERLY NURSING HOME RESIDENTS

When elderly people are well-hydrated, they are less at risk for certain health conditions and injury types, and may prolong their life and quality of life as such. A caregiver should not only ensure that water is being given (and consumed) at meals, but that an elderly person has access to water at many times throughout the day. Elderly persons who have certain health conditions that interfere with their ability to consume water, such as difficulty swallowing, should receive special care regarding putting a method in place to ensure that enough fluids are consumed or given throughout the day.

Nursing home nurses also have a duty to watch for signs that could be indicative of dehydration, and to take action immediately if any signs are noticed. For example, if a caregiver is noticing that the elderly person is having balance issues or is complaining of feeling dizzy, or if urine is particularly dark, water should be given. If symptoms are severe, the nursing home staff member should not hesitate to seek medical attention. If they do and harm occurs, they are neglecting their duty of care to the resident, and the nursing home may be held liable for this failure.

BRINGING FORTH A LEGAL ACTION FOR NURSING HOME NEGLECT

If you believe that your loved one in a nursing home is suffering from dehydration as a result of nursing home neglect, you should report your concerns to the nursing home immediately, as well as the Minnesota Department of Health. You should also contact an attorney as soon as possible, who can help you to begin gathering evidence of neglect and harm suffered, holding the nursing home liable for whatever damages have befallen your loved one and your family. Taking action quickly is very important in order to better help protect your loved one and give them the justice they deserve.

Please keep in mind that our law firm can help you to pursue civil charges; while criminal charges may be relevant, you will need to speak to law enforcement if you believe a crime has been committed or if you believe your loved one is at imminent risk of harm or death.

OUR LAWYERS ARE HERE TO HELP YOU

At the office of the Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm LLC, our experienced nursing home neglect attorneys believe that no one should ever suffer harm as a result of dehydration, least of all a nursing home resident whose care has been placed in the hands of professionals. When you call our law firm, we will get to work immediately to help you stop nursing home neglect, protect your loved one, and pursue damages for any economic and noneconomic losses incurred.

Please call our Minnesota nursing home neglect attorneys today for your free consultation. You can also send us information about your case and your concerns using the contact form found on our website. We will respond to your inquiry as soon as possible.

NURING HOME DEHYDRATION BLOGS

Mahnomen Health Center employee repeatedly stole patients’ narcotic medication

By | Mahnomen Health Center, Malnutrition / Dehydration, Medication Errors, Neglect, Pressure Sores / Bed Sores / Decubitus

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has completed its investigation of narcotic diversion concerns at the Mahnomen Health Center in Mahnomen, Minnesota.  A complaint was filed with the Department alleging that the nursing home’s staff diverted narcotic medications from residents. The staff member documented controlled substances given to nine residents…

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Yet Another Finding of Neglect at the Red Wing Health Center

By | Falls & Trauma, Fracture Injuries, Malnutrition / Dehydration, Mechanical Lift Misuse, Medication Errors, Neglect, Red Wing Health Center

On January 3, 2011 the Minnesota Department of Health revised an investigative report on a substantiated claim of neglect on the part of Red Wing Health Center.  [Report no H5223045] The neglect occurred when the facility failed to respond to one of its resident’s decline in health.  From the middle…

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Details about the Crest View Lutheran Home Nursing Home in Minnesota

By | Crest View Lutheran Home, Malnutrition / Dehydration, Pressure Sores / Bed Sores / Decubitus

This 122-bed nursing home has received below average” ratingsfor both its Overall and Quality Measure Rating, according to Medicare’s 2012 annual report on nursing home facilities. Additionally, the facility received a “much below average” for its Health Inspection rating. Compared to the average number of health deficiencies for Minnesota nursing…

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Details about Extendicare’s Rose of Sharon Manor Nursing Home in Minnesota

By | Extendicare, Malnutrition / Dehydration, Medication Errors, Pressure Sores / Bed Sores / Decubitus, Rose of Sharon Manor

This 63-bed nursing home has received a “below average” for both its Staffing and Quality Measure ratings, according to Medicare’s 2012 annual nursing home report. Between April 2010 and August 2012, this nursing home was cited with 15 health deficiencies. These include Rose of Sharon Manor’s: Failure to allow the…

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Details about Extendicare’s Health & Rehabilitation of New Brighton Nursing Home in Minnesota

By | Extendicare, Health & Rehabilitation of New Brighton, Malnutrition / Dehydration, Medication Errors, Neglect, Pressure Sores / Bed Sores / Decubitus

This 100-bed nursing home has received a “below average” for both its Overall and Quality Measure ratings, according to Medicare’s annual 2012 report. Additionally, the government deemed its Health Inspection Rating to be “much below average.” Compared to the average number of Minnesota nursing home health deficiencies (6.8), this facility…

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Hopkins, Minnesota Golden LivingCenter Ignores Resident’s 40-Pound Weight Loss

By | Golden LivingCenter, Golden LivingCenter Hopkins, Malnutrition / Dehydration, Neglect

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) completed an investigation of neglect concerns at the Golden LivingCenter in Hopkins, Minnesota.  A complaint was filed with the MDH alleging that facility staff failed to provide the resident with adequate care to meet his fluid and nutrition needs and failed to monitor his…

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