Is the failure to notify relatives of a medical change considered nursing home negligence?

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nursing home resident being monitored Gray and White LawYou recognize that your loved one’s health is perilous and that it could change at any time. You are ready to meet these unexpected, yet anticipated, health changes by talking to your loved one and her doctor so that, together, you can make decisions that are in her best interest.

If a nursing home fails to tell you that your loved one has taken a turn for the worse or has developed new symptoms, however, you may be denied this important opportunity. You may be unable to weigh the pros and cons of different treatment options, and you may be denied the opportunity to gather your family to say good-bye to your loved one if death seems likely.

Nursing Homes Have a Duty to Inform Family Members About Health Changes

Federal regulations require nursing homes to notify a doctor if there is any change in a resident’s condition which could affect the resident’s health. Once the doctor is notified, and the patient is stable, the nursing home must also notify a family member. The nursing home should inform the doctor and family if, for example, the resident has:

  • Symptoms of a stroke
  • Unexplained bleeding
  • Unexplained chest pain
  • Loose stools or vomiting over a 24-hour period
  • A significant change in vital signs
  • Changes in behavior or mental status
  • Unexplained or new seizures

Other new or concerning health conditions should also require notification to both the resident’s doctor and family member.

When a Failure to Notify Is Nursing Home Negligence

Nurses and nursing home staff have a duty to exercise reasonable care and to follow all nursing home policies and procedures. Nursing home negligence may have occurred if the nursing home failed to report a change in medical condition to a relative and that violates either the duty to use reasonable care or nursing home policy and if the nursing home resident is harmed as a result.

Has Your Loved One Been Injured In A Nursing Home?

If you believe your loved one is being subjected to nursing home abuse you need to speak with an experienced Kentucky nursing home neglect attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 888.450.4456 to schedule a free consultation.


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