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A Nursing Home Must Notify a Resident’s Doctor and Family of Significant Changes to that Resident

If a member of your family has an accident or significant change in their medical condition – such as declining health, bed sores, etc. – while a resident at a nursing home, it must notify both your doctor and you by statute.  According to the Nursing Home Reform Act §483.10(g)(14) a nursing home must immediately inform the resident, their physician, and the resident’s representatives when there is:

  • An accident involving the resident which results in injury and has the potential for requiring physician intervention;
  • A significant change in the resident’s physical, mental, or psychosocial status (that is a deterioration in health, mental, or psychosocial status in either life-threatening conditions or clinical complications);
  • A need to alter treatment significantly such as stopping treatment because of bad reactions to it, or starting a new form of treatment;
  • A decision to transfer or discharge your family from the nursing home.

Therefore if a nursing home does not immediately contact you when your family member has an accident such as a fall, or does not immediately contact you and your family member’s doctor when their health is deteriorating or needs to be transferred, it could be liable in civil court as well as cited by your State’s Department of Health. Therefore if you feel a nursing home has kept information from you or your family member’s treating doctor about an accident they have or their deteriorating health, you should contact your State’s department of Health.  If they feel it is warranted, a surveyor will be sent to see if the nursing home did in fact violate 483.10(g)(14) of the Nursing Home Reform Act.

The Thistle Law Firm has successfully litigated claims where a nursing home has not reported serious health issues to their resident’s doctor or family.  For example a lack of bowel movements of the resident leading to a burst colon and the resident’s death, or a worsening infection at a resident’s surgical site that also lead to the resident’s death.  If you feel a nursing home did not report changes in your family member’s physical condition to their doctor which lead to harm or death of that family member, the attorneys at the Thistle Law Firm are here to take your call and discuss your legal options at 215-568-6800.

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