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Illinois 457 articles

Pilot project has coroners investigate all nursing home deaths

John Whalen visited 87-year-old Bernice Mulch weekly at a Jacksonville, Ill., nursing home. Whalen, who had legal authority over the woman’s care, had no reason to believe that his friend was not getting adequate care. After she passed away, the Morgan County coroner investigated her death and determined that that Mulch’s death was caused by a nursing home staff member’s failure to follow doctor’s orders to give her antibiotics for an arm infection. As a result, the nursing home was fined $10,000 by the state, according to the State Journal-Register. When Whalen learned that his friend’s death was being investigated, ... Read More

Two suits filed against Bayer in Illinois

Two Illinois residents have filed suit against Bayer, claiming that Trasylol injections led to acute renal failure and other problems in one case and death in the other. Both complaints were filed in the St. Clair County Circuit Court. Gary Harms received a Trasylol injection in 2005 while he was undergoing heart surgery at Des Peres Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. He has since suffered from acute renal failure and requires regular dialysis to perform the functions of his failed kidneys. Researchers first discovered a link between Trasylol and kidney failure in the early 1980s when lab animals that received ... Read More

Nursing home deaths were not merciful

A truly disturbing report out of Illinois this week. A series of suspicious deaths at a Chicago-suburban nursing home in 2006, the so-called “mercy killings” of one nurse, now appear to be ruthless murders committed by a caregiver who became “fed up” with certain patients. According to The Daily Herald, a 15-month investigation into the deaths at the Woodstock Residence in Woodstock, Ill., led to the indictment in April of two nurses – Marty Himebaugh of Lake in the Hills, Ill., and her supervisor, Penny Whitlock of Woodstock, Ill. Himebaugh faces charges of criminal neglect, obtaining morphine by fraud and ... Read More

Senate to consider Patient Safety and Abuse Prevention bill

This week, members of the U.S. Senate will consider a bill that will establish a nationwide system of background checks for individuals who apply for jobs at long-term care facilities, The Daily Times (Farmington, New Mexico) reported today. If passed, the Patient Safety and Abuse Prevention Act would allow nursing homes to choose not to hire potentially abusive caregivers based on a coordinated system of checks against abuse and neglect registries, state police records and the FBI national database of criminal history records. The Patient Safety and Abuse Prevention Act is sponsored by New Mexico’s senior senator, Pete Domenici, R-N.M., ... Read More

Family sues Illinois nursing home for wrongful death

When the Hopley family moved 51-year-old Bruce Hopley into Golden Moments Senior Care Center in Jacksonville, Ill., in late August of 2006, they alerted staff that he was “severely diabetic,” and that he had required emergency hospitalization on numerous occasions for erratic blood sugar levels and seizures. Nineteen days later, just an hour after staff documented high blood sugar levels in his blood, Mr. Hopley was found dead, according to a story by the Jacksonville (Illinois) Journal-Courier. Jennifer Hopley, Mr. Hopley’s daughter and administrator of her father’s estate, filed an 18-count wrongful death lawsuit against the nursing home, two doctors, ... Read More

APP ok to make heparin in Puerto Rico

This week APP Pharmaceuticals, headquartered in Schaumberg, Ill., announced it has gotten FDA approval to manufacture heparin at its Barceloneta, Puerto Rico, facility. The facility will manufacture three product codes of heparin sodium injection, USP. According to a report in the Pharmaceutical Business Review, APP currently manufactures nine products at its Puerto Rico facility, including doxycycline, azithromycin and diphenhydramine. The report says the company plans to manufacture more than 19 million units in Puerto Rico during 2008 and to eventually transfer more than 25 additional product codes to the facility. The recall of contaminated heparin manufactured in China has affected ... Read More

Fear of Retaliation

Phil Kadner, a reporter for the Southtown Star in Illinios, recently told of a heartbreaking visit to his office by an elderly gentleman whose wife recently died while under care in a nursing home. Crying, the man told Kadner he was afraid to complain about what he saw as neglectful treatment, fearing the nursing home staff would retaliate by treating her worse. The man recounted deficiencies including a room with no telephone or oxygen supply hook-up (requiring portable tanks to be wheeled in when needed), an ill-fitting oxygen mask, and problems with medications, among other things. Worried about “retaliation,” as ... Read More