Millions of Americans received in-home medical care every year. In fact, according to the National Association for Home Care and Hospice, about 12 million people in the U.S. require some form of home health care for medical conditions ranging from diabetes and hypertension to heart failure and osteoarthritis.
Like all medical professionals, home health care providers are obligated to adhere to accepted standards of medical care. Moreover, home health care agencies are obligated to follow accepted standards regarding their hiring practices in connection with the nurses and medical professionals that they hire to provide in-home medical care.
Some common types of in-home medical malpractice include:
- Medication errors
- Lack of or inadequate communication between the home health care nurse and doctors
- Medical equipment failures
- Wheelchair injuries and transportation injuries
- Neglecting patient’s personal hygiene
- Over-reliance on family members to provide contracted services
Unfortunately, detecting medical malpractice by an in-home caregiver can be difficult since family members may live away from the patient, but some common signs of home health care malpractice include:
- Bedsores and/or frozen joints
- Bruises, cuts, broken bones, burns and other physical injuries
- Injuries to or infections of the genitals
- Unexplained behavior changes
- Suspicious behavior from the in-home medical staff
- Unexplained medical sedation
- Dehydration and malnutrition
- Unexplained financial decisions or transactions
What Should I Do If I Suspect Negligent In-Home Health Care?
The vast majority – more than two-thirds – of in-home medical care are elderly patients over the age of 65 and, unfortunately, elder abuse is an all too common occurrence. If you suspect that a loved one has been or is the victim of negligent in-home health care, you should contact the Senior HelpLine (800) 252-8966 immediately. To file a complaint against a nursing home facility, call the Illinois Department of Public Health at (800) 252-4343.
You should also consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney about a possible legal claim. If the in-home health care provider failed to adhere to accepted medical practices and the patient suffered an injury because of the health care provider’s actions (or inactions), the in-home health care provider and/or the home health care agency may be liable for any resulting injuries in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
The knowledgeable Chicago medical malpractice attorneys at Ankin Law Offices, LLC focus on representing the victims of medical malpractice, including the victims of in-home health care negligence and nursing home abuse and neglect. Do not hesitate to contact the skilled Chicago medical malpractice law firm of Ankin Law Offices at (312) 600-0000 to schedule a free consultation to learn more about in-home health care malpractice.