Nursing Homes Delay Seeking Emergency Treatment


An Oswego nursing home is in the news for failing to seek proper care for patients suffering from emergent conditions, resulting in at least two deaths. Though this facility is attracting the attention, these types of situations occur statewide, and residents are the ones who suffer due to these delays.

Identifying when to send a resident at an elderly care facility to the emergency room can be difficult. After all, nursing homes in theory also provide medical care, and should be able to treat many common problems. There will always be borderline cases where the right choice is difficult to discern. But there are also certain indications that always indicate a person needs a higher level of care than these facilities can provide.

Nursing homes should seek help when patients display certain symptoms, including:

  • Difficulty breathing, including low oxygenation of blood
  • Stroke symptoms
  • Unmanageable blood sugar levels
  • Elevated fevers that do not respond to traditional treatment

When these situations occur, calling 911 is appropriate and expected, as the patient’s needs have exceeded the facility’s capabilities. Unfortunately, nursing homes may delay calling for help for a variety of reasons, including not wishing to forfeit any fees or payments having to do with the patient’s continued presence.

In many cases, a licensed nurse may oversee many lower skilled workers, who lack the training to understand when a patient’s life may be at risk. It is important that nursing homes employ enough competent skilled nursing to oversee the number of residents. When facilities fail to do so, people are put at risk.

If someone you love has suffered in a nursing home, either due to substandard or delayed care, recognize that your loved one is not alone in being harmed by the system. Please consider reaching out to a qualified lawyer about holding the facility accountable for their actions.

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