Can Someone Die From A Bed Sore
Its certainly possible for a person to die from a pressure ulcer. This generally happens when an untreated pressure ulcer reaches stage three or stage four because infection is incredibly common during these stages. In fact, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality , pressure ulcers cause more than 60,000 deaths every year in the United States. Sometimes, deaths caused by pressure ulcers can fall under the umbrella of wrongful death if:
- Someone should have prevented the bed sore
- Someone could have treated the bed sore at stage one or two
- There is substantial proof that the cause of death was a severe pressure sore
Are Pressure Ulcers A Sign Of Abuse
The presence of pressure ulcers can be a sign of both neglect and abuse on the part of a nursing home and its staff. Bedsores of any stage happen when an individual is left alone for long periods of time causing constant pressure on vulnerable parts of the body. This can all be avoided if there is proper care and attention given to residents.
Can You File A Lawsuit For Stage 4 Bedsore Complications
In a nursing home setting, a stage 4 bedsore can be a sign of abuse, neglect or negligence. Because stage 4 bedsores develop from less serious bedsores, if a resident has this type of injury, it is often because the staff failed to properly care for them. This may include failing to turn immobile patients, check their skin regularly and provide the proper care for an existing bedsore. If a nursing home, assisted living facility, adult family home or similar care facility failed to provide proper care, they may be liable for your loved ones injuries.
These cases are often based on a theory of negligence, where the staff failed to provide the level of care and treatment that a reasonable professional would in a similar situation. In some cases, this may also be considered a type of medical malpractice, such as if a doctor at the nursing home failed to properly debride a bedsore.
A nursing home abuse or negligence lawsuit may allow you to recover compensation for past and future medical expenses, disability, disfigurement, reduced quality of life, past and future pain and suffering, and past and future emotional distress. If your loved one passed away as a result of nursing home abuse, then you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit to recover financial compensation for your own losses.
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Can You Sue A Nursing Home For Neglect
Yes. If a family member has suffered an injury like complications from a stage 4 bedsore due to neglect while in a care facility, then they may be able to file a lawsuit for their losses. Nursing home neglect occurs when a resident is not provided with adequate care, which leads to serious injury or even death. Neglect can take many forms, including failing to provide for basic needs or even medical malpractice, when a health care provider does not properly care for a wound . In these cases, a nursing home abuse attorney can help your loved one get the compensation that they deserve for their injuries.
How Common Are Bed Sores In Nursing Homes
According to a study conducted by the CDC in 2004, more than 1 in 10 patients in assisted living facilities developed bedsores. The CDC also determined that stage two ulcers were the most common and that 35% of elderly people with stage two needed special treatment from a wound care team.
More recent research from the ACP in 2015 says that 3 million Americans suffer from pressure injuries every year, and those who are immobile are the most at risk.
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Can A Hospital Be Pursued For Medical Malpractice When A Patient Develops Bed Sores During A Hospitalization
By Nursing Home Law Center
Some hospitals have forgotten that they have a duty to both tend to their patients acute condition as well as their overall medical care needs. As the largest organ in the body, hospitals must remember to take care of the patients skin. When skin care goes ignored, hospital patients are prone to develop bed sores during their admission.
Particularly in patients who may be recovering from a surgery or illness that leaves them with compromised mobility, hospital staff must take efforts to move the patients on regular intervals and retain the blood circulation.
Extended periods in a hospital bed can put pressure on areas of the body that have little tissue or muscle to disperse the pressure. Even relatively short periods of extended immobilization can result in unrelieved pressure that impairs blood flow and eventually causes the skin and tissue covering the pressure point to die. As the tissue dies, the underlying tissues and bone may be exposed resulting in a condition known as a bed sore.
Hospital Bed Sores: A Widespread Problem
Far from being an isolated complication, hospital acquired bed sores impact thousands of patients every year leaving them with a complication that may be more complex and painful to heal than their underlying illness that they were originally admitted for.
Hospital Bed Sores: Medical Malpractice?
Modeling The Cost Of Hapis
In order to fully address the risk of HAPIs, hospitals need to develop novel preventive solutions to augment current treatment approaches. To assess the cost effectiveness of any HAPI prevention or treatment protocol, an assessment of the financial impact of HAPIs on an individual hospital or hospital system is needed.
A model of the annual costs associated with HAPIs at the individual hospital level, using actual hospital characteristics, HAPI-related costs and outcome variables obtained from literature sources is evident in the exhibit below. Input variables included bed size, occupancy rate, high-risk beds, PI incidence and the incremental cost of late-stage HAPIs .
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More Familiarity = Better Results For You
Having experience with a specific kind of law therefore more often than not translates into greater success in litigation in that area of law.
Why would you then choose an attorney who mostly works with car accidents or just broad malpractice, when you can choose a malpractice attorney that focuses strongly on bedsores claims?
What types of cases do I help clients with on a regular basis?
Which cases do I have the most exposure to and experience with?
While some attorneys work regular malpractice cases most of the time, my work is lopsided towards being a bedsore lawyer pursuing pressure ulcer lawsuits for nursing home and hospital cases.
This experience helps me to know what you need to win your case and get the maximum settlement that you deserve.
The level of experience that I have with pressure ulcer lawsuits can mean the difference between the nursing home walking away with a free pass, ot it being held accountable for its crimes. Return to Table of Contents.
Verdict Against Hospital Affirmed In Bed Sore Case
Robert OConnor, then 77 years old, was admitted to Kingston Hospital on December 26, 2008 from the office of his physician when he was noted to be dehydrated and hypotensive subsequent to a several week history of loss of appetite and generalized weakness with nausea and vomiting. Within two days, he was diagnosed with multiple cancerous liver and bone metastases. During his two weeks at the hospital, Mr. OConnor developed significant bed sores from which he suffered until he succumbed from cancer and died at another hospital on February 27, 2009.
In his estates ensuing medical malpractice lawsuit, an Ulster County jury determined that Kingston Hospital committed malpractice by departing from accepted standards of nursing practice in its treatment of Mr. OConnor between 12/26/08 and 1/9/09 and, after he was discharged to his home for nine days, between 1/18/09 and 1/23/09. Plaintiffs expert identified three specific deviations that caused the pressure ulcers to develop and worsen: failing to turn the patient every two hours, failing to supply an air mattress, and, failing to to recognize the high risk for pressure ulcers and have a plan in place designed to minimize pressure on the skin.
The jury awarded pain and suffering damages in the sum of $500,000 , an amount that was affirmed in OConnor v. Kingston Hospital.
Here are the injury details:
As to damages, the defense contended that the pain and suffering award was excessive and that:
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Base Case Model Inputs
For the example base case analysis, the indicated values were set for each variable.
Pressure injury incidence rate 3.6% PI reduction from high-risk beds 99% Stage 1 incidence % of Total PI 16.0% Stage 2 incidence % of Total PI 38.0% Late-stage incidence % of Total PI 46% Unstageable incidence % of Total PI 7.0% Stage 1 PI treatment cost per case $2,000 Stage 2 PI treatment cost per case $8,000 Late-stage PI treatment cost per case $18,000
The potential budgetary impact due to reduction of HAPI incidence rates at a medium-sized hospital archetype of 344 beds was evaluated using this model. For this analysis, occupancy rate was fixed at 65% and the average initial PI incidence was set at 3.6%.e
In the base case scenario, this medium-sized hospital would experience 644 HAPIs and 146 readmissions within 30 days due to HAPIs each year, with estimated costs totaling $10.4 million annually. Leaving all other variables constant, a 50% reduction in the HAPI rate would result in a potential savings of over $5 million. That level of reduction is equivalent to preventing less than one HAPI per day on average. Therefore, even a small reduction in daily HAPI incidence can substantially impact a hospitals costs, improve patient outcomes and reduce LOS for these patients, creating additional capacity for additional inpatient cases and revenue.
Pressure Ulcer Injury Lawyer Near You In Baltimore Maryland & Beyond
I can help you anywhere in Maryland, including Allegany County, Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Calvert County, Caroline County, Cecil County, Charles County, Dorchester County, Frederick County, Garrett County, Harford County, Howard County, Kent County, Montgomery County, Prince Georges County, Queen Annes County, Somerset County, St. Marys County, Talbot County, Washington County, Wicomico County, and Worcester County.
I have helped clients in over a dozen jurisdictions, including California, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Washington, and Virginia.
I help injured victims nationwide in all 50 states on a case-by-case basis via Pro Hac Vice.
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Bedsore Lawyer In Baltimore Maryland With National Reach
As a dedicated bedsore malpractice attorney, I appreciate that pressure ulcer legal cases have unique challenges. I dedicate myself to staying abreast of the medical and nursing facility issues that lead to these terrible injuries.
This includes policies and procedures for not letting a nursing home resident sit idle, proper toileting programs, and nutritional guidelines which help reduce the risk of bedsores.
With that type of knowledge in hand, a bedsore lawyer like me will allow you to aggressively pursue your claim until justice is served.
Let me bring the negligent nursing home to its knees for hurting you and your family. Call, , or submit the contact form below so I can fight for you.
What Causes Pressure Ulcers To Develop
Pressure ulcers are caused by prolonged pressure to the skin, such as laying in the same position for an extended period of time. When a person is in a bed from surgery or a coma or for an extended stay, they may be at risk.
There are other factors, including the patients own comorbidities which can increase the risk of developing pressure ulcers. Other variables, such as parts of the body not exposed to air, under pressure, moist areas , can pose a risk factor.
Not turning the body, not changing the linens or the patients underwear, are conditions that will create an environment that increases the chances of developing pressure ulcers.
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To Adequately Treat And Slow The Spread Of Pressure Ulcers Hospitals Must Monitor Document And Intervene
The best treatment is prevention. But once a bedsore is discovered, the hospital should immediately document the sore and then implement a plan to reduce the worsening of the sore and to reverse course and heal the skin.
Documentation at this point is critically important. The hospital must measure the size of the wound and photograph them for record keeping purposes. Photos and measurements should be taken frequently to track the progress of the wound.
The hospital should have developed a plan at this point that could involve a variety of interventions, such as:
- Frequent turning and repositioning every 2 hours
- Frequent changing of sheets, linens, underwear
- Frequently checking the skin for moisture, movement, friction, and sensory perception
- Assessing the patients nutrition and diet, and correcting any deficiencies, such as lack of protein
The hospital should be constantly working through its plan and the pressure ulcer should not get worse, but should actually improve if the plan is being followed and adhered to by the hospital staff.
There are also surgical interventions, such as a skin flap procedure, to repair the wound. The wound can also be healed on its own by simply avoiding pressure, which is why turning and repositioning is so important.Hospitals should put turning clocks in the patients room as a means of reminding and alerting all nurses of the two-hour turning frequency.
Why hospital-acquired pressure ulcers are reprehensible.
Nj Lawyer Barry Sugarman Wins Maximum Compensation In Bedsore/pressure Ulcer Lawsuits Against New Jersey Hospitals
A patient may be especially vulnerable to pressure ulcers when they are malnourished and dehydrated. In fact, hospital negligence lawyer Barry Sugarman knows this all too well. He has been fighting for maximum compensation for clients in Somerset and Camden counties, from Somerville to Marlton and throughout New Jersey.
- Sugarman settled a $1 million claim against an Essex County healthcare facility after a patient suffered dehydration and pressure ulcers as the result of negligence.
- In another case, he negotiated a $750,000 settlement with a Northern NJ healthcare facility after a pressure ulcer and infection led to the patients death.
- Sugarmans success in fighting for the rights of New Jersey families continued when he won a $930,000 verdict/judgment against a Middlesex County healthcare facility after a patient died due to negligence associates with pressure ulcers.
If you or your family member has suffered or is currently suffering from bedsores caused by negligent healthcare workers, contact the Sugarman Law Firm right away. Barry Sugarman is a lawyer who focuses on people, not profits. He never represents big businesses like hospitals or nursing homes. His clients are families like yours, good people who are victims of medical mistakes, abuse and negligence.
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Reminder System In Patient Care Plan
As stated in many recommendations of care for the prevention of PUs, identifying the patients developing PUs can facilitate health professionals to adopt adequate preventive measures and monitoring protocols to decrease PU incidence.5, 41 A list of onscreen reminders effectively decreases the cumulative incidence of PUs.41 New strategies need to be researched to effectively decrease the occurrence of complex worldwide problems such as PUs.
Bed Sores Are The Result Of Medical Negligence
Bed sores are an extremely painful but easily avoidable condition. They develop when a patient rests in a position in which a bony part of their body puts pressure on the skin for an extended time period. Bed sores are also called pressure sores, pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers. They are most likely to occur on a patients buttocks, heels and sacrum. Bed sores can be prevented by merely rolling the patient over so that the same part of their body isnt constantly having pressure applied to it.
Medicare includes advanced cases of pressure sores on a list of Never Events, which means they are so easily prevented by minimal care and attention that pressure sores should never happen to any patient. In fact, Medicare and many medical insurance companies will no longer reimburse hospitals or nursing homes for any costs associated with caring for pressure sores that a patient develops while being treated for another condition.
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Average Bed Sore Lawsuit Compensation Amounts
The NCBI released a study that assessed medical malpractice claims associated with pressure ulcers from 1987 to 2019. The study concluded that:
- The mean compensation for claims involving individual providers was $400,000,
- The mean compensation for claims involving nursing homes was between $4 million to $7.75 million,
- And the mean compensation for claims involving hospitals was between $1.59 million and $2.48 million.
Additionally, nearly 80% of the pressure ulcer cases involved in this study were for negligence, while only 22% were for medical malpractice. When these pressure ulcer cases went to trial, the family of the senior won 35% of the time while the facility, doctor, or nurse won 36% of the time. Lastly, only 26% of the pressure ulcer cases involved in this study resulted in a settlement.
Why The Hospital Setting Is Different From The Long
Nursing Homes, or long-term care facilities, are exactly that: a place for a person to receive long-term care a place intended for the patient to stay for a very long time, often for the remainder of his or her life.
People are admitted to nursing homes, not as patients, but as long-term residents. Generally, a nursing home resident needs care not for some immediate and acute injury, but for a chronic, long-term condition.
Therefore, nursing home residents are by the very nature of their situation, in a not-so-healthy state and need constant care for the things most of take for granted, activities of daily living .
Most people who are admitted to long-term care facilities have multiple disease diagnoses or co-morbidities. They have a lot going on. They dont just have one thing, but usually they have multiple things that are affecting their health. This is why they are in need of long-term care and why they are admitted to the skilled nursing facility in the first place.
Bottom line: Oklahoma patients should not receive bed sores during their hospital stays.
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