Nursing Home Negligence
Elderly people in nursing homes and other elder care facilities generally rely upon others to provide for their most basic needs. Many are weak and helpless making them especially vulnerable to abuse and exploitation. Family members or relatives who want to protect their loved ones in nursing homes should know the signs of neglect or abuse. These may be physical injury such as bruising or broken bones, or dehydration, malnutrition or bedsores from neglect. Nursing homes are heavily regulated by state and federal law. Some of those laws are listed below:
- SC Code of Laws, 43-35-10, Omnibus Adult Protection Act, expects the facility to
- protect its residents, who are considered vulnerable adults, from neglect.
- SC Code of Laws, Title 40, Chapter 33, Nurse Practice Act, requires nurses to:
- Evaluate data in “order to produce informed decisions, which guide nursing actions.”
- Implement nursing interventions to achieve desired outcomes & provide
- safe and effective nursing care either directly or indirectly.
- SC DHEC Regulation Number 61-17, Standards for Licensing Nursing Homes, Direct Care Staff, Section 603, requires the facility to provide services to allow the resident to maintain their highest practicable physical and mental well-beingm and to ensure the safety of each resident.
- SC DHEC Regulation Number 61-17, Standards for Licensing Nursing Homes, Reporting, Section 701, Accidents and Incidents, expects the facility to:
- Investigate incident/accidents in accordance with facility policies and procedures; the results of the investigation should be retained by the facility for six years, after the resident stops receiving services.
- Report every serious accident and incident involving a resident that results in death, bone fractures, or significant loss of function or damage to a body structure, not related to the natural course of a resident’s illness or underlying condition. Serious accidents and incidents requiring reporting include, but are not limited to, severe hematomas, fractures, and injuries of unknown origin.
- Submit written report of every serious accident and incident to the Department within five days of the occurrence; the written report should include the type of accident or incident, date of the occurrence, the identified cause of the accident, a brief description of the accident, and internal investigation reports, when the cause is not known.
- United States Code of Federal Regulations, Title 42, Section 483.70, Administration, requires the facility to:
- Be administered in a manner that enables it to use its resources effectively and efficiently to attain or maintain the highest practicable physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being of each resident residing in the facility.
- Operate and provide services in compliance with all applicable Federal, State, and local laws, regulations, and codes and with accepted professional standards and principles that apply to professionals that provide services in the same type of facility.
- Maintain clinical records on each resident in accordance with accepted professional standards and practices that are complete and accurately documented.
- US Code of Federal Regulations, Title 42, Section 483.10, Safe Environment, reminds staff that the resident has a right to a safe environment including but not limited to “receiving treatment and supports for daily living safely.”
- US Code of Federal Regulations, Title 42, Section 483.12, Freedom from Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation, demands the facility to ensure that staff does not neglect the needs of its residents. If the facility is aware of, or should have been aware of, services that a resident(s) requires but fails to provide these services to the resident(s), this may be considered as neglectful behavior.
- United States Federal Code of Regulations, Title 42, Section 483.25, Quality of Care, expects the facility to:
- Provide appropriate treatment and services to each resident in order to maintain his/her ability.
- Provide each resident with necessary care and services in an effort to allow each resident to maintain their highest practicable physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being.
- Ensure that each resident receives adequate supervision and assistance devices to prevent accidents.
- Ensure that sufficient fluids are provided to maintain an adequate state of hydration.
- Provide measures to ensure that each resident maintains acceptable parameters of nutritional status, including body weight and protein levels.
If your relative or friend has been injured, abused or is suffering from neglect in the Pee Dee area of South Carolina, and would like to discuss it, Tuck Law Firm would like to hear from you. If your nursing home resident has died, and you believe it may have been caused in whole or part by abuse, neglect or negligence, and would like to discuss it, Tuck Law Firm would like to hear from you. The decedent’s beneficiaries may be able to recover compensation for not only suffering, but the decedent’s as well.