Deadly Pressure Sores a Major Threat in Nursing Homes

December 19, 2012

58761_hospital_bed_1.jpgOur nursing home negligence lawyers at Pintas & Mullins warn that bed sores, also known as pressure sores, pose a serious threat to nursing home residents across the nation. If left untreated, pressure sores can cause several complications - gangrene, sepsis, necrotizing fasciitis, osteomylitis and even death. However, it is important to remember that bed sores can be prevented with proper care and vigilance

Two recent reports of bed sore nursing home deaths reveal the extreme level of harm that untreated pressure sores can lead to. Recently, a lawsuit was filed on behalf of a New Mexico nursing home patient that suffered a fatal bacterial infection from bed sores. As The New Mexican reported, the deadly bed sore incident happened at the Casa Real Nursing Home in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

The 85-year-old bedsore victim was having difficulty walking due to her Parkinson's disease and went to the hospital. Hospital nurses noted that she faced the threat of developing a pressure ulcer or sore on her skin and needed to be placed on an airbed and turned every two hours.

Four days later, the elderly woman was admitted to Casa Real, but it appears that the nursing home personnel did not adhere to the necessary protocols. Later that week, the woman was readmitted to the hospital, where she was diagnosed with incontinence, a kidney and urinary tract infection, and a sore on her tailbone.

After the woman was transferred back to the nursing home with warnings that she should be given treatment to prevent worsening of the sore, the nursing home apparently continued to be negligent and ignored the warnings. What followed was a sequence of visits to the hospital, where the woman was taken to get rid of dead tissue from the sore on her right buttock.

Three days later, she returned to the nursing home. Unfortunately, the sore did not get better and the woman ultimately died at the nursing home from a bacterial infection.

The Sun Sentinel reported another unfortunate nursing home death from painful decubitis ulcers on the patient's heel and tailbone that became infected and eventually led to his death.

The 72-year-old victim, George Dahmer, was a resident at Lake Worth Manor in Florida at the time of his death, now known as Oasis Health and Rehabilitation Center. Dahmer was a wrestling sensation from the 1950s to the 1980s.

Sadly, his condition rapidly deteriorated following his admission to the nursing home. In a little over two months, the once-sturdy wrestler lost 32 pounds, along with his ability to talk and walk. His family testified they were never informed about his loss of dentures, fall from a wheelchair, bedsores and other incidents that suggest negligence on the part of the nursing home.

The victim's son said that he wasn't aware of the seriousness of his father's injuries until he was finally transferred to another facility, where his wounds were photographed. At trial, jurors demanded that the nursing home pay almost $1.8 million in damages to the deceased man's estate.

Following the verdict, the victim's wife expressed her hope that the case would be the launch pad for new legislation to increase regulations and standards for nursing homes in Florida.

If your loved one died from pressure sores while at a nursing home, you need to take action against the home for their negligence. A nursing home abuse attorney can help you secure due compensation.