According to reports, Robert Robinson, a former Nevada legislator and optometrist, died less than three weeks after he was left outside the Nevada State Veterans Home by nursing home staff. The 89-year-old man suffered second degree burns on his body while sitting outside at the height of the summer heat and without proper protection. Later that day he was rushed to the hospital. According to his death certificate, he later died from “sepsis, cellulitis, cutaneous burns and prolonged environmental heat exposure.” Initially, nursing home staff said that Robinson could not have been outside for more than 15 minutes. This time frame was later altered several times, even claiming the burns occurred while Robinson was being transported to the hospital. Hospital staff were doubtful of the stories, stating that “you don’t get those types of burns in 15 minutes.” The nursing home did attempt to take steps to fix some of the issues, including terminating the employment of the certified nursing assistant who was assigned to monitor Robinson. Other corrective measures include the creation of a new policy on excessive heat precautions. The home also has until Dec. 19 to pay $20,165 in fines to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid for infractions found during the state’s investigation. However, this is not enough. The Robinson family, feeling a duty to warn the public, is now suing the nursing home. The facility is also being investigated for “potential criminal activity” and Medicare fraud by the Nevada attorney general’s office.
NURSING HOME NEGLECT AND ABUSE IN NEVADA
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The Families for Better Care have given Nevada an “F” or failing grade on their nursing home report card. The group cites several reason for this failing grade, including the fact that more than 1 in 3 facilities were cited with severe deficiencies, while less than 25 percent of the state’s nursing homes scored above average on their health inspections. This is the worst record in the nation. It is no surprise, then, that abuse and neglect are common occurrences in Nevada nursing homes. Sadly, the signs of abuse and neglect are not always readily present, and can be physical, sexual or financial in nature. Neglect is a main concern among patients in Nevada nursing homes, as evident in the story of Robert Robinson who was left unattended for a long period of time in the hot summer weather. If you fear a loved one may be suffering from abuse or neglect in a Nevada nursing home, it is important to act immediately and secure the legal services of experienced personal injury lawyers, like those at Bernstein & Poisson in Las Vegas. With extensive experience fighting for the rights of victims of nursing home neglect or abuse, Bernstein & Poisson can offer knowledgeable legal advice on your individual case.