February 9, 2012–Daly City, CA– The California Department of Public Health cited a local resident care facility, Seton Medical Center, with the maximum allowable fine by law after an investigation uncovered inadequate care in the wrongful death of a resident. The patient, who was not identified in the report, was said to have died after proper respiratory care was withheld by the staff at the Medical Center.
Public health officials announced Tuesday Seton Medical Center, 1900 Sullivan Avenue, received a $100,000 fine after an investigation into the death of a resident. The officials found that the staff had been negligent in providing proper care, and cited the facility with a class “AA” citation, which carries the maximum financial penalty.
I want to extend my sincere and heartfelt condolences to the family of the victim in this case for the loss of their loved one.
Nursing Home Accident Statistics
Deaths in nursing homes due to negligence are, unfortunately, not as uncommon as many would believe. Overworked and underpaid staff lead to neglect of necessary care. In 2005, 91.7 percent of all nursing homes in the United States were cited by health inspectors for some form of violation. In 1999, 5,000 deaths nationwide were attributed to poor nursing home care. Experts estimate that one in three nursing home residents will experience some form of neglect or abuse during their stay.
What Caused this Nursing Home Accident
These are sobering statistics, especially as America’s population ages. The median age for Americans is climbing every year as more medical treatments become available to extend life. However, if the quality of life is not preserved, simply extending life is not necessarily the blessing it would seem. For those who must endure poor treatment in nursing home facilities, the “golden years” can quickly become a nightmare.
The severity of this fine leads to the conclusion that the neglect in this case was extreme. While many residents suffer “minor” abuses in nursing homes, have life-saving treatments withheld is tantamount to extreme negligence, as when a person drives drunk or deliberately performs some other action which could endanger another’s life. Unfortunately, while society focuses on DUIs and other extreme negligent actions, nursing home violations are often quietly ignored.
Nursing Home Liability Issues
There is a clear cause of death in this case, and it is due to the withholding of proper and necessary medical treatment. Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals should not be punished for every patient who dies, as some deaths are simply unavoidable. However, when necessary and proper treatment is deliberately withheld and a patient dies, it is obvious that an expert California nursing home abuse attorneys should be allowed to examine the facts of the case and help the family pursue a judgment. The governmental fine, while a good first step, does not erase for the family the loss of their loved one. The negligent parties should be made to answer individually for their actions, as well.