Recently our team of Chicago nursing home neglect attorneys settled another lawsuit for a local family after her death stemming from pressure sore complications. For those who follow this blog, it does not take long to identify how common pressure sore development is in nursing home lawsuits. Considering that many seniors at these homes have mobility problems and rely on caregiving for movement, nutrition, and hydration, failure to provide adequate support quite frequently causes bed sores. Constant pressure on bony prominences without movement, poor nutrition, and inadequate hydration all combine to create these sores.
Illinois Nursing Home Neglect
The resident in our latest settlement began her ordeal when she entered a Chicago hospital following a stroke. After the immediate critical care was provided–which lasted about 2 weeks–she was transferred to the defendant-facility for rehabilitation. This is common procedure, as many local residents end up in nursing homes only for what is supposed to be temporary recovery. Sadly, for many of them the stays become permanent.
In this resident’s case, upon her admission she was identified as being a pressure sore risk. Even though steps should have been put in place to ensure she did not develop the sores, that did not stop caregivers from failing to act properly and allowing her to develop several bed sores in areas where they frequently arise, the sacrum and heels.
In a testament to the quality of care the woman was receiving–or lack thereof–the nursing staff was never the one’s who identified the sores. Instead, the resident only received appropriate wound care when the family saw the sores and demanded something be done. This is another common theme in these cases. Many families with which we work are shocked to discover problems with their loved ones during nursing home visits. Instead of caregivers checking for problems and identifying issues, it is left up to families to point out the obvious and press for decent care.
Unfortunately, the complications from the woman’s bed sores worsened and she was sent back to the hospital. At the hospital her condition did not improve and she was diagnosed with sepsis, pneumonia, and dehydration. Sadly, only about three month after the initial hospitalization the woman passed away from her injuries.
Nursing Home Lawsuit
Understandable angry about the care their loved one received at the nursing home, the woman’s family sought out legal counsel to determine if the facility could be held accountable for their role in the incident. After reviewing the evidence related to the matter, our team filed suit on the resident and family’s behalf. In particular the lawsuit alleged that the facility caregiver failed to act properly to both prevent the sores and identify them when they did develop. These dual problems acted as a poison pill for the already weakened senior resident who lost her life as a result.
Fortunately, we were able to negotiate a settlement to ensure compensation and redress. The defendant-facility agreed to pay $575,000 for their role in the situation. The agreement was reached in late November and approved by the probate court just after Christmas.
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