The Quincy Medical Center psychiatry unit has been cited after state inspectors found filthy conditions and evidence of patient neglect during a surprise visit last month.
Regulators had received a series of complaints of patients being ignored, left unattended, and being left in bed without bed linens and only wearing hospital gowns, as well as reports of staff members being rude, disrespectful, mean, and abusive toward patients. These reports ultimately prompted investigators to search the unit where they found damaged furniture, missing privacy curtains in patient rooms, dirty floors, and absolutely squalid conditions. In addition, officials found that staff members did not know how to properly use the electronic record system used for maintaining patient records, which ultimately posed a risk of danger to patients being treated within the unit.
In response to the visit, Quincy Medical Center issued a statement acknowledging the unit’s problems and has since terminated several staff members and begun retraining remaining staff. In addition, the hospital’s human right’s officer visited patients every day after the inspection and weekly since then to address any concerns patients had.
This situation is an illustration of many individuals’ worst nightmares when they choose to send loved ones into a nursing center or other type of residential care facility. Many families decide to send a family member into an around-the-clock care facility when the family member can no longer take care of him or herself and needs specialized care. Under Massachusetts Federal laws, nursing home residents have certain rights while living in a nursing home; such as the right to a clean and safe environment, the right to proper medical care and attention, the right to make decisions about their care, how much attention they receive on a daily basis, and ultimately the right to live comfortably and without abuse or neglect. Unfortunately, many nurses and workers at these facilities in Massachusetts do not always honor the rights of the patients they are caring for, and these patients become abused or neglected.
Though some signs of nursing home abuse and hospital neglect are more obvious than others, such as excessive or unexplained bruising or broken bones, it is not always easy to detect abuse of a loved one. Elderly or sick patients are especially vulnerable to becoming victims of nursing home abuse or neglect because they are often lucid or too weak to know that they are victims. Often victims are too scared to report this abuse and neglect, or they have been forced into silence.
Some examples of nursing home abuse include:
• Sexual assault (may include molestation or rape)
• Physical assault (shaking, punching, pushing, slapping)
• Over-medicating • Use of unreasonable and/or forceful physical restraints • Verbal abuse • Emotional abuse
Less obvious warning signs that a nursing home resident is being abused include:
• Unexplained weight gain or weight loss • Regular sedation • Sudden and unexplained illnesses • Depression • Emotional withdrawal
If you suspect a loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse or if a stay at a care facility led to a family member becoming infected, malnourished, having bed sores, or dying because of lack of necessary medical attention, call the law offices of Altman & Altman to discuss filing a personal injury claim with one of our experienced Boston Personal Injury Lawyers. We have both the experience and expertise to help you through your case and we promise to work zealously to get you and your loved one the compensation you deserve. Our lawyers are always available to answer any questions you may have about your case.