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Nursing Home Neglect: “Worst Bed Sores I’ve Ever Seen,” Doctor says

South Bay nursing home abuse lawyers were appalled to learn about the torture endured by an elderly nursing home resident who died late last year.bed.jpg

News reports out of Pennsylvania indicate that the 80-year-old had resided in the nursing care facility for five years prior to his death, which occurred about two weeks after he was admitted to the hospital.

Investigators say his caregivers at the nursing home did not keep the man clean. He was bedridden, and they did not turn him as frequently as necessary.

As a result, he developed bed sores. These are also sometimes referred to as pressure sores or pressure ulcers. They are essentially injuries that develop on the skin as the result of long-time pressure on the skin.

Bed sores usually first develop on the bony areas of the body, like the ankles or hips or buttocks or heels. They develop fairly quickly and can be difficult to treat.

But this is why nursing homes are supposed to have procedures in place to prevent them. Bed sores may not sound that serious, but in fact they can be fatal. Some of the complications of bed stores include:

Sepsis, which occurs when bacteria enters the bloodstream through the exposed tissue. This is a fast-progressing and life-threatening condition that can ultimately result in organ failure.

Bone and joint infections, which develop from sores that are burrowed deep in the bones and joints. These damage the tissue and cartilage and may reduce the function of limbs and joints.

Cellulitis, which is the acute infection of the skin’s connective tissue. It’s characterized by swelling, redness and severe pain. It can lead to life-threatening complications, including meningitis and sepsis.

Cancer. This develops when you have chronic wounds that haven’t healed.

Patients of nursing homes are some of the most at-risk for bed sores because they are older, in frailer health, often less mobile and sometimes totally or at least partially reliant on others for prevention of these conditions. Also, they may not be able to effectively communicate when they are in pain. In other cases, they may not realize the sores are developing.

In this case, the owner of the nursing home testified before a grand jury recently, saying she could have “kicked herself” for not checking the patient for sores. When he was taken to the hospital, he was reportedly covered in crusted feces and soaked with urine. It appeared he had not been bathed in a handful of days. Additionally, he was suffering from a sepsis blood infection and was dehydrated. He also had bed sores on his toes and shins. His foot was gangrenous, meaning that had he survived, it would have had to have been amputated.

A doctor at the hospital described it as the worst case of bed sores he had ever seen.

South Bay nursing home abuse attorneys understand that the owner and two employees at the facility are facing charges of neglect, and the facility’s license has been revoked.

Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez — 1-800-561-7777 for a free appointment to discuss your rights.

Additional Resources:
Ex-employees of personal care home face charges, Sept. 26, 2012, By Greg Bock, Altoona Mirror

More Blog Entries:
Falls in Delray Beach Nursing Homes Can Be Fatal, Aug. 23, 2012, South Bay Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog

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