In Pennsylvania and elsewhere, nursing homes have the responsibility of providing the highest level of patient care. This includes doing whatever is necessary to make patients comfortable as well as trying to prevent any wounds or ailments from developing while a patient is in their care. In a current out-of-state case, a family is alleging that the death of their loved one at a nursing home is due to the staff's failure to prevent and treat pressure ulcers.
The 81-year-old man, who had Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, was admitted into the Regent Care Center in Dec. 2011 following a fall. The lawsuit alleges that the staff had a plan to prevent bed sores that included using a device in his bed that relieved pressure in addition to periodic repositioning. However, the man developed two pressure ulcers in April 2012 before any of the prevention techniques were implemented.
As a result of the pressure ulcers, the complaint states, the man's physical condition worsened and more wounds developed. He died in Sept. 2012 from what the family claims was severe pain and suffering. The autopsy purportedly confirms that his death resulted from the pressure ulcers. The staff at Regent Care is accused of negligence for not preventing or treating the bed sores.
Pennsylvania families who put loved ones in a nursing home must often place all their trust in the staff to do what is necessary to prevent issues like pressure ulcers. If there are clear signs that the patient is suffering as a result of not getting the best care, it may be grounds for a civil claim. For many families, this is a way to obtain some justice and hold the nursing home accountable in a situation that may otherwise leave them feeling helpless.
Source: wacotrib.com, Wrongful death lawsuit filed over Woodway nursing home care, Tommy Witherspoon, Jan. 9, 2014