Failure to Seek Proper Medical Evaluation in Nursing Homes

As necessary for their overall health and well-being, nursing home residents have the right to proper medical evaluations, including diagnostic tests and referrals to specialists for additional evaluation and treatment when necessary. Without proper medical evaluation and treatment, serious health effects can occur and reduce both the quality and length of a person’s life.

The Importance of Proper Medical Evaluations for Nursing Home Residents

If a nursing home resident has an illness that is overlooked, ignored, or left untreated, the recovery process is likely to take much longer or recovery may not happen at all. Likewise, failing to refer a nursing home resident to a specialist for the right diagnostic testing can result in numerous harmful conditions that can and should be prevented, such as:

  • Loss of quality of life
  • Additional recovery time
  • Increased medical bills
  • Added pain, suffering, and discomfort due to the untreated condition or illness
  • Decline in health during the time when the resident should have been evaluated, tested, or seen by a specialist

Oftentimes, appropriate medical evaluations do not occur because nursing home staffs fail to chart, monitor, assess, and report changes in a resident’s condition. Being inattentive in these duties and failing to recognize symptoms of a health problem constitutes neglect, and the nursing home should be held accountable.

In other cases, nursing home staff may report symptoms they have noticed, but an attending doctor then fails to diagnose the resident properly, and subsequently fails to refer him or her to the appropriate specialist for further evaluation and treatment. An incorrect diagnosis or delayed diagnosis can significantly interfere with the recovery process, or prevent it entirely if the resident experiences a health crises.

Watching for Pain & Other Symptoms of an Undiagnosed Condition

Pain is one of the first signs a nursing home resident’s condition has worsened or a new condition has presented itself. Indicators of pain include rigid posture, facial expressions showing discomfort or sadness, unexplained anger or fear, and crying out suddenly. An unprecedented weight loss or weight gain may also be attributable to a health condition that has gone unnoticed by nursing home staff, such as hyperthyroidism, a reaction to medication, gastrointestinal tract disorders, or dementia.

If you see any sign your loved one needs a medical evaluation, notify nursing home staff immediately. If you do not receive support from the staff, seek assistance from a qualified nursing home malpractice attorney.

Contact the Legal Team at KWFDM for Help after Failure to Obtain Proper Medical Evaluation

Nursing homes are responsible for obtaining proper medical evaluations and treatment for their residents. If your relative or loved one experienced any suffering due to a Georgia nursing home’s failure to seek proper medical evaluation, please contact the legal team at Katz Wright Fleming Dodson & Mildenhall LLC at 404-460-0101 to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our experienced nursing home malpractice lawyers. We represent clients across the state of Georgia, including Atlanta, Macon, Augusta, Rome, and Columbus.

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