The estate of a man and the man’s surviving wife have filed a nursing home negligence case in state court in Ohio seeking in excess of $25,000 against the nursing home where the man had been a resident in order to receive rehabilitative services following a fractured patella.
The nursing home malpractice lawsuit alleges that the nursing home should have known that the man was at risk for developing pressure ulcers (bed sores) on his heel, feet, and ankles if he did not receive the proper preventative care and treatment.
According to the Ohio nursing home negligence lawsuit, the man was admitted to the defendant Ohio nursing home on February 2, 2013 at which time the nursing home staff who evaluated the man upon his admission negligently failed to identify his substantial risk of developing pressure ulcers due to his medical condition and his required bedrest. As a result of the defendant nursing home’s negligent failures, the man developed pressure ulcers on both heels, his ankles, and both feet, which became infected, according to the lawsuit.
On April 2, 2013, the man was discharged from the nursing home and admitted into the hospital, for treatment of his bed sores. Despite hospital care from April 2, 2013 to June 30, 2013, the man’s bed sores worsened to the point that he developed gangrene, had a urinary tract infection, suffered pulmonary aspiration, and became septic. He died on July 1, 2013, allegedly due to his multiple serious complications due to the pressure ulcers.
The Ohio nursing home lawsuit alleges that the man suffered physical pain, incurred medical expenses, and seeks reimbursement for funeral expenses.
What Are Pressure Ulcers?
A pressure ulcer is an area of skin that breaks down when something keeps rubbing or pressing against the skin and is caused by pressure on the skin that reduces blood flow to the area, leading to death of skin and the development of an ulcer (the skin often becomes red, worsens over time, a blister is formed, and then an open sore appears). The most common areas where pressure ulcers develop are areas where parts of the body are in direct contact with a mattress during bedrest: the buttocks, elbows, hips, heels, ankles, shoulders, back, and the back of the head.
Pressure ulcers due to deep tissue injury may be purple or maroon, and the area around them may be sore, firm, mushy, boggy, warmer, or cooler compared with tissue nearby. In order to objectively describe the severity of pressure ulcers, they are often “staged” within four categories, with Stage IV being the worse: Stage I involves a reddened area on the skin that, when pressed, does not turn white, which is a sign that a pressure ulcer is starting to develop; Stage II is when the skin blisters or forms an open sore and the area around the sore may be red and irritated; Stage III is when the skin develops an open, sunken hole referred to as a crater, which indicates that there is damage to the tissue below the skin; and, Stage IV is when the pressure ulcer has become so deep that there is damage to the muscle and bone, and sometimes to tendons and joints. (Pressure ulcers cannot be staged when the tissue at the base of the ulcer is covered by dead skin that is yellow, tan, green, or brown.)
If you or a loved one suffered pressure ulcers (bed sores) during a nursing home stay or hospital stay, you should promptly seek the assistance of a nursing home negligence attorney or a hospital malpractice attorney who may investigate your nursing home claim or hospital malpractice claim for you and represent you in a nursing home case or hospital malpractice case, if appropriate.
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