Those who stay at a hospital or a similar facility for medical care expect that staff members will provide them with proper support. Unfortunately, neglect in modern hospitals, rehabilitation facilities and nursing homes is a significant issue.
Chronic understaffing at many facilities leaves employees spread thin and unable to provide an appropriate standard of care for every patient. Sometimes all of the patients suffer, or sometimes a few receive worse support than others.
Whether you or the one staying in the hospital or you have a loved one who requires professional medical support, being able to identify the warning signs of neglect in a medical facility could help you advocate for yourself or someone you love in a vulnerable position.
Unanswered call lights
If you visit a family member, and you notice that the call light outside of their room and several others are illuminated, get no staff members are anywhere to be seen, that is a warning that there aren’t enough people around to meet the needs of the residents in a timely fashion.
Similarly, if you go to a nurse’s station to ask for help or get information and cannot find or contact anyone, that could be a relatively benign warning sign of an understaffed facility where patients may experience neglect.
Confused or uninformed staff
If a doctor has recently talked about changing your loved one’s medication, but nurses continue administering treatments that were ineffective or caused bad reactions, a patient could easily suffer.
Proper communication is important in a medical facility, as is every staff member’s careful attention to detail. When workers don’t communicate with one another or have the time to properly check patient records, they can make major mistakes related to the care they provide.
Infections and infestations
In a location where there are numerous people in a small space, the possibility for disease and pests to spread quickly is present. Hospitals and medical facilities should prioritize cleanliness so that lice from one patient don’t end up bothering another.
Additionally, staff members need to be careful about changing their personal protective gear in between patients and maintaining clean utensils so that infections don’t pass from patient to patient. If your loved one develops an infection or suffers an infestation in the hospital, medical neglect may be partially to blame.
Pursuing an insurance claim or civil lawsuit can compensate those who experience medical neglect or other common forms of medical malpractice.