A lawsuit has been filed in Cook County against a skilled nursing facility alleging negligent care caused the death of a woman. According to the lawsuit, the woman suffered from a stage IV pressure ulcer which became infected and ultimately contributed to her death. Nursing homes and care facilities are required to provide proper care for patients. This lawsuit alleges that Alden-Princeton Rehabilitation and Health Care failed to properly care for the woman and she developed serious decubitis ulcers on her body. A bacterial infection resulted from the sores and the woman later died.
Pressure ulcers or bedsores are a common problem among the elderly who are bedridden. These sores begin as red marks and can quickly deteriorate into more serious wounds. Pressure ulcers can and should be prevented. When they do occur they are typically a result of negligent care. There are four stages of pressure sores. Stage I pressure ulcers are red marks which can be painful. They develop on areas of the body that touch or rub repeatedly on sheets or other items. As the sores worsen the skin breaks and they deepen. Once there is an open wound, the risk of infection is increased. Stage IV pressure ulcers may reach the muscles and bones and are extremely difficult to treat at this last stage.
Treatment of Pressure Ulcers
It is imperative that pressure ulcers are treated immediately upon discovery. At stage I these sores are still more easily improved. It is important to keep moving the patient so that the same areas do not keep rubbing on the bedding. Immobile patients cannot easily move or turn on their own and rely on the staff to keep them from developing bedsores. Early treatment is necessary to ensure that the sores do not worsen. A doctor should evaluate and test the sore to determine treatment. Treatment should include a several-pronged approach that addresses wound care, pain management, and mobility. Those treating a patient with bedsores must take special care to make sure that excessive rubbing is avoided since this will worsen the wounds.
Complications from Pressure Ulcers
Pressure ulcers can be very difficult to treat in the elderly. As bedsores worsen they become very painful and patients need medication to assist with comfort. The sores themselves must be kept clean and dry. The affected areas need to be kept away from continually rubbing, so frequent movement and turning is needed. If the sores become deeper they can easily become infected. Infected sores may need surgery. Antibiotics can help mitigate potential infection. The patient may have a compromised immune system or may be malnourished. Addressing these issues will help the body fight off infection.
Pressure Ulcers – A Sign of Nursing Home Neglect
Nursing home staff is required to provide care that prevents pressure sores in patients. In this case, the woman was admitted to the facility with no bedsores, but was considered at a high risk for getting them. She developed a bedsore that was classified as stage IV, the most serious and dangerous type. Pressure sores should not occur and when they do they must be noted and treated before they progress to this stage. In this instance, the bedsores became infected and this led to the woman’s death. If your loved one suffered from bedsores due to nursing home negligence, contact Levin & Perconti for a free consultation.