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Family of Highland Park Woman Sues Nursing Home Alleging Staff Misread Chart, Failed to Resuscitate Her

Posted by A. Lou Benassi | Apr 27, 2017 | 0 Comments

The family of a woman who resided in Highland Park filed a lawsuit against a local nursing home facility alleging that the staff is liable for her death.

According to the suit filed in Lake County Circuit Court, the nursing home staff at Warren Barr North Shore failed to resuscitate Kimberly Cencula after discovering they had misinterpreted her DNR - a legal order that indicates a patient's wishes in the event that their heart stops. Apparently, after realizing they had made a grave mistake, neither the attending nurse or any other staff even attempted to revive the woman using alternative measures like CPR.

Cecula had suffered from Type 2 diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, end-stage renal disease and several other conditions prior to being admitted in the nursing home. The 52-year-old was there for a short term to recover from an intense bout of pneumonia. Cecula had also sustained a pelvic fracture and a sacral ulcer while in the care of Warren Barr staff.

She was found early in the morning of March of last year by an employee, describing her condition as “lifeless.” Cecula's instructions consisted of rendering “full treatment including all resuscitation efforts medically available to her in the event of a cardiac or respiratory arrest,” her family's suit stated. Authorities confirmed that nursing home staff waited a total of 29 minutes to report her death to an emergency dispatcher. Several minutes later an employee called authorities once again to report the misreading. The family's attorney, Tara Devine, claims that the misreading proved that nursing home staff alleviated from the standard of care.

“You literally check a box to say yes you want to be resuscitated or no you do not,” she said.

Surveillance video has been obtained, displaying the activity in Cecula's room after her passing. Devine commented following the release of the video.

“We have three people going in and out of that room in over 30 minutes,” she said. “During this 30 minutes not one person calls 911, not one person calls a code blue, not one person administers CPR.”

By the time paramedics had arrived it was too late. Warren Barr has denied all the allegations made in the family's lawsuit. The facility released a statement claiming that they maintain “the highest standards of care” for their patients, and disagreed that their nursing staff's “handling of Kimberly's care and treatment somehow caused Kimberly's death.” They closed the issued statement with a promise to defend themselves in a court of law if need be.

Cecula's death led The Illinois Department Public Health to conduct an investigation in the nursing home. Residents are now required to wear a pink bracelet if they wish to be resuscitated.

If you or a loved one has been injured while in the care of a nursing home facility, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact Benassi & Benassi today to get the justice you rightfully deserve. With the help of our skilled attorneys, you can focus on recovering while we worry about the rest.

About the Author

A. Lou Benassi

A. Lou Benassi was born and raised in Taylor Springs, Illinois, a small mining and farming community located near Hillsboro, the county seat of Montgomery County, Illinois...

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