On December 14, 2011, Modern Healthcare reported the dangers of extended hours and long shifts in healthcare facilities. While the correlation between exhaustion and increased error may seem obvious, many nurses have difficulty accepting this truth and determining the point at which their fatigue may lead to fatal consequences. The effects of fatigue include, but are not limited to, confusion, memory lapses, and impaired judgment. Many healthcare facilities fail to comprehend the seriousness of the consequences that can be caused by staffing errors. Often, these careless errors are fatal and lead to the death of a patient.
Nurses are often forced to work long hours because health facilities are understaffed. Even when they are well-rested, nurses who work in inadequately staffed facilities are more likely to make careless errors because they are constantly pressed for time, as they need to attend to more patients than they are able to handle alone. Factoring in exhaustion, in addition to the problem of understaffing significantly increases the chance of error, while decreasing quality of care of patients.
Inadequate staffing has many consequences including an increased risk of falls and incontinence, as well as dehydration and malnutrition. In both cases, patients require one-on-one assistance and individualized care plans. However, when nursing homes are understaffed, nurses simply do not have the time to meet the specific needs of each resident. Not only is understaffing a serious problem because of the health and safety risks it poses, but it is also illegal.
When staffing errors or inadequate staff lead to the death of a patient, a Wrongful Death claim may ensue. If nursing home neglect is directly responsible for a resident’s death, the successors of the patient may demand compensation for the personal losses that they have suffered.
If your loved one resides in a skilled nursing facility in Agoura Hills, Cerritos, or Downey, and you feel that he or she is a victim of nursing home neglect due to inadequate staffing, please do not hesitate to contact us today for a free consultation. If by unfortunate circumstances your loved one has passed away as a direct result of nursing home neglect, we encourage you to consult with our team of experts because you may have a legitimate Wrongful Death claim. At the Law Offices of Ben Yeroushalmi, we possess a thorough understanding of the dangers of understaffing and are dedicated to ensuring that your loved one obtains the rights to which he or she is entitled.