Bed sores are one of the most well-known signs of inadequate nursing home care. When residents do not receive attentive aid over a period of time, these skin breakdowns may develop, causing serious injury, pain, and (in some cases) contributing to the death of a senior resident. Elder caregivers must be well-versed in these pressure ulcers, understanding how they develop and what needs to be done to make sure they are properly treated. If nursing home caregiver fail in this regard, then the civil law may allow the senior (or their family) to seek legal accountability.
Illinois Bed Sore Lawsuit
That is exactly what is happening in a new nursing home neglect lawsuit filed by our legal team at Levin & Perconti against the Applewood Rehabilitation Center in Matteson, Illinois. We are representing a family in the legal matter whose 81-year old senior relative passed away in January 2012 after a stay at the facility.
The senior first entered Applewood in November of 2011 after a serious stroke that paralyzed the right portion of her body. As often happens with those who suffer a stroke, the senior’s paralysis made it impossible for her to conduct basic maneuvers like shifting in bed, moving weight from one part of her body to another. These mobility challenges are a key factor in the development of pressure sores. The caregivers at Applewood knew this, and the senior was documented as “at-risk” for developing pressure sores upon her admission.
That documentation should have meant that caregivers took proper steps to prevent the development of sores–repositioning, proper nutrition, adequate hydration, etc.
Sadly, they failed in that regard. A little over a month after arriving at the facility she was brought to a local hospital. Once there she was diagnosed as suffering from dehydration. In addition, medical professionals discovered several bed sores, including one that was of the most serious variety (Stage IV) on her sacrum. These complications led to her death the following month.
The family eventually sought the aid of our Illinois bed sore lawyers. We recently filed suit on their behalf in the Circuit Court of Cook County. In summarizing the situation, our senior partner Attorney Steve M. Levin explained, “Our suit alleges that once she developed bed sores, staff should have notified her physician and family and then taken steps to prevent them from getting worse. Unfortunately, staff failed to do so, and their negligence contributed to her tragic death less than a month after leaving the facility.”
Levin went on to explain how these sorts of neglect cases are often spurred by management decisions at the facilities in question. For example, understaffing remains a serious problem when owners and operators do not devote the resources necessary to provide the care residents’ need in order to maximize their bottom line. When that happens, even the most well-meaning front-line care-workers are unable to provide the time, attention, and support they they would like to each resident. As a result of prioritizing profits over resident, many seniors suffer needlessly.
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