When the same type of injury keeps happening at a particular nursing facility, it is definitely cause for concern. Wyoming investigators are often called in to determine whether such situations may have been caused by nursing home negligence. In fact, the department of health in another state says it believes several ventilator-related deaths were preventable and were caused by staff members' neglect.
The most recent death occurred when a 78-year-old woman who was on a ventilator was left lying with the machine shut off for nearly 40 minutes. It was the facility's third suspicious death in the past two years. Another person's ventilator had been shut off by a nurse a full two hours before it should have been.
The patient in that situation died the following day. Another incident that occurred in 2017 involved a ventilator tube that became detached. Such machines are equipped with alarms that sound if such emergencies arise, and the alarm sounded in this particular case; however, no staff member came to check on the resident until almost an hour later.
It is certainly traumatic enough to lose a family member under natural causes. When nursing home negligence is determined as a cause of death, it only intensifies a family's sorrow. Wyoming law allows immediate family members of people who suffer fatal injuries due to medical neglect to file wrongful death lawsuits in civil court. Successfully litigated cases often provide grieving families with financial restitution, which can be used to help cover expenses associated with their losses.