Are Twin Cities Nursing Home Complaints Being Covered Up?

Posted by PKSD Law Firm on Oct 22, 2019 in Nursing Home Abuse

Elderly woman with castThere are thousands of reports of nursing home abuse and neglect in Minnesota’s Twin Cities that are not investigated by the Department of Health, according to an investigation by a local news station. The lack of investigation means the complaints are hidden from public view.

Some of the uninvestigated complaints involve severe neglect. For example, two elderly patients sustained fractures at the Martin Luther Care Center within weeks of each other. Both women lay in agony for more than 24 hours before receiving medical attention. The two women died within weeks of their injuries.

The first patient was well over 90 years of age and suffering from osteoporosis. After falling during a routine transfer from a wheelchair into her bed, she stated that she felt both legs break and cried out in pain. The nurse only made a note about “aching leg pains” in that patient's chart before giving her Tylenol for the pain. The doctor was not contacted that evening.

By late afternoon the next day, the facility sent the patient to the hospital in an ambulance where an X-ray revealed that she had broken not one, but both femur bones. Her children recorded Cleary’s verbal account of what happened before she passed away, less than three weeks following the accident.

The other patient was checked into the center for recovery from hip surgery. She fell and re-fractured the same hip that had been operated on. The physician was also not contacted in this incident, and no X-ray was taken until the following day. This patient passed away less than a month after reinjuring her hip.

The nursing home said in a statement that it was unable to talk about any of its residents, but emphasized its commitment to patient safety, investigating problems as they occur and “implementing improvements as needed.”

Minnesota Health Department Decides Investigation Unnecessary

The Martin Luther Care Center was previously cited for nursing home neglect two years ago in a case where a resident fell four times in three days but was never treated by a doctor for her injuries. This woman died.

However, the Minnesota State Department of Health determined that neither of the recent situations met the criteria for ordering an investigation. A recent report by the Department of Health indicates that more than 24,000 complaints were made in 2016 with only 10 percent resulting in an on-site investigation. Only one percent of those cases were reported by the facilities.

Call a Trusted Lawyer for Help

If you suspect your loved one is suffering from abuse or neglect at a nursing home or long-term care facility, report it to the authorities and one of our trusted Wisconsin nursing home abuse lawyers at PKSD. Initial consultations are completely free, but you are not obligated to hire us. If you have a claim, and we represent you, there are no fees or out-of-pocket costs to pay. We do not get paid unless you do.

Call 877-877-2228 today to see how we may be able to help you pursue justice for your loved one.

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