News & Resources

July 2, 2011. Category: Library Articles

Understaffing Endangering Lives

In a recent report, the Department of Health and Human Services concluded that most nursing homes are understaffed to the point of endangering their residents. The report also concluded that understaffing contributed to an increase in the incidence of severe bedsores, malnutrition, and abnormal weight loss among nursing home residents. Many of them end up hospitalized for life-threatening infections, dehydration, congestive heart failure, and other problems that could probably have been prevented if the facilities had more employees.

Ironically, researchers found that staffing levels were much higher at nonprofit nursing homes than at the for-profit facilities. Nursing homes with a low ratio of employees to patients are "significantly more likely to have quality-of-care problems". The quality of care that a facility can provide depends on the number of nurse's aides, licensed practical nurses (LPN's), and registered nurses (RN's). Yet, thirty-one percent of nursing homes, for example, do not even have enough registered nurses to provide twelve minutes of care a day to each resident. About 1.6 million people reside in 17,000 nursing homes nationwide. The report recommends new federal standards to guarantee higher employees to patient ratios. Ninety-five percent of the homes participate in Medicaid or Medicare and therefore would be subject to any new federal standards that Congress may enact.

Alley, Clark & Greiwe continues to successfully pursue claims of behalf of victims that have suffered bedsores, contractures, severe dehydration, malnutrition, broken bones, and physical abuse while residing at a nursing home.

Please contact our firm immediately for a free and confidential consultation with one of our attorneys if you or a loved one have suffered injury while residing at one of these facilities. You will not be responsible for any fees or costs unless we obtain a recovery in your claim. The time to act to protect your legal rights is now.

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