Understanding Transfer Delays and Nursing Home Malpractice in Illinois: Experienced Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyers in Springfield Explain
Nursing homes and long-term care facilities provide residents with a level of medical care, treatment, and supervision that they often cannot receive at home. Depending on the type of facility, the care that residents receive may range from basic hygiene all the way to wound care, around-the-clock nursing, and close physician monitoring. Although nursing homes and long-term care facilities have well-trained and licensed medical professionals at their facilities, they are not hospitals. Indeed, for accidents, illnesses, or other complications, nursing homes and long-term care facilities have a duty to triage residents and then stabilize and transfer them to an appropriate trauma or medical facility. Some facilities properly do that, but the experienced nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers in Springfield at the Noll Law Office know that this does not always happen right away. In instances like this, residents and their families may ask whether a transfer delay could be nursing home negligence.
Unfortunately, the answer to that question is “it depends.” There are many different factors that may apply to any transfer delay case in a nursing home. Some instances of a delay may not be nursing home abuse, neglect, or negligence, whereas other very similar instances may constitute nursing home negligence and lead to serious personal injuries or wrongful death of a resident. The differences between what may and may not be substandard nursing home care and treatment can be very narrow.
What is a Transfer?
Generally, in a medical setting, a “transfer” refers to the process of moving or relocating a resident from one facility to another. In a nursing home context, transfers can be between nursing homes, long-term care facilities, rehabilitation centers, hospitals, acute-treatment centers, or with other facilities. There are several reasons for a transfer, including the following:
- Medical needs – a resident admitted to a facility may require a higher level of care than the facility that the resident is currently placed in (for example, in a facility that provides basic hygiene and supervision, but may need to be transferred to a facility that specializes in dementia as the resident ages and develops a mental illness or impairments)
- Rehabilitation needs – a resident in a facility may require rehabilitation after a surgery or procedure, which is sometimes beyond the level of care that a nursing home may be able to provide (for example, a resident may need hip surgery and receive 6-8 weeks of intense physical therapy that is beyond what most nursing homes may be able to provide)
- Specialized care – residents may need specialized care, such as for Alzheimer’s or cancer treatment, which may require a specialized nursing home or a different type of care facility
- Acute Trauma and Care – a resident who suffers an acute injury such as a broken bone may require surgery, which often requires admission to a hospital. The same is true for a resident who becomes ill and needs a higher level of treatment and care than a nursing home may be able to provide, including for bedsores that progress to grades 3 or 4
- Personal preference or financial reasons – residents may decide to switch facilities based on location or how much they like their present facility, or to a different facility that may be covered by insurance or come at a lower cost
- Facility-related reasons – where a facility has staffing issues or closes down, residents may need to be transferred to a new facility.
There may be other reasons for a transfer in a nursing home, some being innocent but some reasons being due to nursing home abuse or neglect. Anytime that you suspect that a nursing home transfer is unexpected or for an odd reason, contact an experienced nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer in Springfield for a free consultation if a resident has been injured by that transfer.
What is a Transfer Delay in a Nursing Home?
A transfer delay in a nursing home refers to a situation where a resident, who needs to be transferred to another facility or level of care, experiences a delay in the transfer process. This can occur for various reasons and can have both short-term and long-term implications for the resident’s well-being – particularly if a resident is in need of a higher level of care. Further, transfer delays can also be dangerous when a resident is suffering from an acute injury such as a bedsore or another condition like a stroke, heart attack, pulmonary embolism, or similar injury.
Some common reasons for transfer delays in nursing homes that may be due to nursing home abuse and neglect in Illinois include the following:
- Administrative or logistical issues – transfer delays can occur due to administrative processes, paperwork, or coordination problems between the current nursing home and the receiving facility. When a resident is in need of an immediate transfer to save a life or limb and a nursing home administrator is delaying that transfer for paperwork reasons, it could result in a deviation from the standard of care.
- Medical evaluation and approval – before a resident can be transferred to a higher level of care or specialized facility, medical evaluations and approvals are often necessary. These evaluations might take some time to arrange and complete, especially if a nursing home facility is understaffed or has poorly trained staff. Transfer delays caused by this type of logical issue could also be nursing home abuse and neglect.
- Transportation and arrangements – coordinating transportation and making necessary arrangements for the transfer can sometimes lead to delays, especially if the distance between the two facilities is significant and nursing home staff are improperly trained in how to handle these types of arrangements. However, where a resident is suffering from a medical emergency, it is often faster and within the standard of care to call for an ambulance to make the transfer. Failing to do so and causing this type of unnecessary transfer delay could be nursing home negligence in Illinois.
- Misdiagnosing a resident – sometimes a transfer delay will occur due to a misdiagnosis of a resident’s condition. This particularly includes heart attacks, which might be dismissed as heartburn or indigestion. The same is true of pressure sores, which may be ignored or not detected if a facility is understaffed and not running proper checks. Anytime a resident’s condition is misdiagnosed and a transfer is delayed, it could be due to nursing home abuse, neglect, or negligence and should be reviewed by the Noll Law Office in Springfield.
There are many other reasons for a transfer delay in Illinois. It’s crucial to minimize transfer delays to ensure that residents receive appropriate care as soon as possible without causing further injury or damage. Delays may result in residents not receiving the level of care they require promptly, leading to potential negative impacts on their health and well-being, resulting in needless injury or wrongful death.
Was a Loved One Harmed by a Transfer Delay in a Nursing Home in Illinois? Call the Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyers in Springfield for Help
If you or a loved one were seriously injured or if a loved one was wrongfully killed due to a transfer delay in a nursing home in Illinois, call the Noll Law Office. Their nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers in Springfield are fifth-generation lawyers, serving their community and the people who live and work in it. Unlike other personal injury law firms, their compassionate and experienced team handles cases in-house, meaning that cases are not farmed out to young associates across Illinois. That allows victims and their families to call the Noll Law Office and speak with a lawyer in their community who is handling their case.
To learn more about how your transfer delay may have been caused by nursing home abuse or neglect in Illinois, contact the Noll Law Office today.