The Balmoral Home in Chicago ignored a physician’s orders for specific treatment for one of their residents suffering from multiple sclerosis. As a result, the resident developed multiple bed sores on her foot and knee that required surgical debridement.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease that affects the brain and spinal cord. Because of this, symptoms of MS vary greatly. Symptoms generally come in “attacks” that can last days, weeks, or months. Some of the attacks are mild. Some are truly terrible. There are literally dozens of symptoms that are associated with MS, but some of the most common symptoms include an inability to voluntarily move one’s appendages (legs and arms).
It is that particular symptom that makes people with MS particularly susceptible to bed sores (also known as pressure ulcers). In this case, the resident was a 52-year-old woman with numbness and contractures (the permanent shortening of a muscle or joint) in her limbs. She is alert and can speak, however.
The initial bed sore was first noted in September of last year. The bed sore was acquired while she was a resident in the nursing home. It’s important to note that with proper, trained care, a bed sore should never develop. Consequently, a bed sore that develops in a nursing home is almost always a result of nursing home neglect.
The second wound was acquired in December of last year. The Administration of Balmoral Home claimed in an interview that the bed sores were unavoidable due to the limb contractures. However, in August of last year, the primary physician ordered that a vitamin ointment be applied to the heel, buttocks, hips and tailbone every shift. The orders also called for a gel mattress to be used to prevent constant pressure, which is one of the primary causes of bed sores. A review this year showed that no pressure relieving measures to avoid bed sores were taken.
If you have a loved one who has developed bed sores in an Illinois nursing home, contact our Chicago nursing home lawyers for a free and confidential evaluation of your case. Care in nursing homes will only improve when nursing homes realize that providing substandard care will not be tolerated.