The State of Illinois has been investigating Alden Village North and assessing whether the quality of care provided at the Illinois nursing home meets state standards. If not, the state plans on closing the Chicago nursing home because of overwhelming reports of nursing home abuse and neglect. New reports of five additional deaths caused by poor health care at the facility does not bode well for its future.
In addition to the state’s investigation, a federally-backed watchdog group, Equip for Equality, found that illnesses at Alden Village North were not properly treated, doctors ignored pages, lab results were discarded and investigations into the deaths of its residents were found to be superficial at best. The Chicago-based Equip for Equality group started its own investigation as part of a nationwide advocacy group that has been granted broad powers by Congress to help protect people with disabilities.
As part of its investigation, Equip reviewed patient records at Alden Village North in order to assess the quality of nursing home care being provided. Its investigation is now completed and Equip filed its official report with the State of Illinois this past month. Presumably the state will consider Equip’s report as it makes its decision about the future of the Chicago nursing home.
The Chicago Tribune also obtained a copy of Equip’s report and published an article citing the watchdog group’s findings. Since 2008, a total of twenty residents have died at Alden Village North. And according to Equip’s report, there is evidence that the Chicago nursing home destroyed evidence of some of its errors. However, the evidence that remained still was enough for Equip to determine that at least five of those deaths were due to “particularly egregious” care.
One of these deaths was that of a 14 year-old girl who died in 2009. At the time of her death she was breathing with the aid of a mechanical ventilator. While her death certificate listed pneumonia as her cause of death, Equip questioned whether her death was caused by nursing home neglect. An investigation revealed that laboratory reports taken near her death showed a “heavy growth” of bacteria in her blood. A nurse at Alden responded to this by requesting that Amikacin, an antibiotic, be given to the girl. However, it was not available and the teenager did not receive any antibiotics for two more days. By this time it was too late to stem the bacteria infection and the young girl died.
Despite the evidence to the contrary, the nursing home maintains that the 14 year-old died of natural causes. This seems to be its response to many of the allegations of nursing home malpractice. Alden maintains that its residents have all “died because of medical conditions, not [as a result of the poor] care that was provided.”
Alden Village North is a for-profit nursing home located at 7464 N. Sheridan Road, Chicago, Illinois. Currently Alden Village North has about 90 residents, most of which are children and young adults with severe developmental disabilities. Its director also runs and supervises 20 other Illinois nursing home facilities, the majority of which house elderly residents.
Kreisman Law Offices has been handling Illinois nursing home malpractice cases and abuse of the elderly for individuals and families for more than 35 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and surrounding areas, including Naperville, Prospect Heights, Elmwood Park, Harwood Heights, Deerfield, and Lynwood.
Sam Roe. “More deaths identified at North Side nursing facility for disabled kids.” The Chicago Tribune. March 28, 2011.
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