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Death of patient occurs blamed on home health negligence

Losing a loved one due to the negligence of a health-care worker is devastating for Maryland families. Unfortunately, one family in an out-of-state case recently experienced this scenario. The death of patient in this case occurred because a home health care provider allegedly neglected the patient, resulting in her death, which has been attributed to malnutrition.

The victim received a Parkinson's disease diagnosis and was referred to a home health care provider in 2012. A nurse was assigned to help the patient on a weekly basis, which included evaluating the safety of the patient and managing her medication. At the latest assessment, the patient said her appetite was poor.

The woman was never weighed during any of the health care sessions, which occurred over a period of two years. This was despite the fact that when she visited a doctor in 2013, the physician indicated having concerns about the patient's reduced nutritional intake. During the summer of 2014, the patient had to be taken to the hospital due to profound malnutrition and multiple-system atrophy. Reports showed that she weighed just 80 pounds, had a major blood infection and had a pressure ulcer. The patient ended up dying.

If the death of patient happens because a health care worker fails to exercise reasonable care, the individual and/or his or her employer may be held accountable. The family members of the deceased patient may choose to pursue compensation by filing a lawsuit in a Maryland civil court, which may help them to move forward in light of the tragedy. Punitive damages might also be awarded in situations in which negligence is proven. 

Source: CBS Minnesota, "Home Health Agency Accused Of Neglect After Patient Died Of Malnutrition", Dec. 9, 2014

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