A Colorado medical malpractice jury returned a verdict in the amount of $3.2 million in favor of the family of an 88-year-old-man in a nursing home who died from infected bedsores, one of which was the size of a baseball, that were allegedly not properly treated. The nursing home that is responsible for the medical malpractice verdict is owned by a large out-of-state corporation that has 4,000 nursing home beds in 8 states, including two other nursing homes in Colorado.
The man had become a resident of the nursing home in May, 2009. He had Parkinson’s disease but was able to walk with assistance to the cafeteria in the nursing home and worked as a janitor in the nursing home before he developed a bedsore in September, 2010. After the bedsore developed, the man’s condition deteriorated to the point where he was unable to walk, even with assistance, and he became unresponsive and stayed in his bed. He also stopped eating and drinking.
Apparently the man’s family was not told about the bedsore. It was not until October, 2010 that a nurse’s aide employed by the nursing home told the man’s son about multiple severe bedsores on his father’s buttocks and scrotum that were infected.
Upon discovering the bedsores and their condition, the son wanted his father immediately transferred to the hospital. At first, the nursing home did not want to transfer the man to the hospital for treatment. Once the man was transported to the hospital, he was found to be dehydrated and malnourished (both conditions can lead to the development of bedsores and both conditions can have a negative impact on attempts to successfully treat bedsores). The man’s death was linked by his doctors to his infected bedsores.
After the man’s death, the Colorado Health Department inspected the nursing home and issued citations against the nursing home for 27 deficiencies.
The development of bedsores in nursing home residents is generally avoidable if proper and timely care is provided to residents. Residents at risk for developing bedsores are often required to be turned and repositioned in their beds at set intervals (often at least every two hours) to help avoid developing bedsores. Pressure relieving devices such as air mattresses for residents’ beds and other devices designed to reduce the pressure points where the body comes in contact with the resident’s bed (such as heals, elbows, buttocks, and the back of the head) are often useful if timely employed.
If bedsores do develop, it is critical that they be diagnosed quickly and promptly and that they be properly treated so that they do not progress to more serious and dangerous stages of development.
If bedsores do develop and cause serious injuries or death to nursing home residents, medical malpractice attorneys often investigate whether there was sufficient staff on all shifts to provide necessary care to the nursing home residents based not only on the number of nursing home residents assigned to each caregiver, but also based on the level of care that each of the assigned residents required from the caregivers. Medical malpractice attorneys also investigate whether the proper care was timely provided to the injured resident.
If appropriate, medical malpractice claims based on the lack of appropriate and timely care owed to nursing home residents may be alleged based on inadequate staffing levels, inadequate training of staff, and/or inadequate care provided by the nursing home’s staff.
If you or a loved one suffered serious injuries or death as a result of nursing home negligence, nursing home neglect, or nursing home abuse, click here to visit our website or telephone us toll free at 800-295-3959 to be connected with medical malpractice lawyers in your state who may be able to investigate your possible medical malpractice claim and represent you in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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