A resident at the Berkshire Nursing and Rehab Center in Forest Park, Illinois developed a series of bed sores while a resident of the facility. She was admitted to the nursing home for rehabilitation with diagnoses that include stroke, hypertension, asthma, and a urinary tract infection.
The first bed sore was documented on June 30th as an unstageable wound on her right heel. Just three days later, a second bed sore was found, this time on her buttock. The attending physician ordered standard care including regular cleaning and a antibiotic cover and dressing. The same orders were applied to the bed sore on her buttock as well.
Two weeks later the wound on her side was much worse having grown in size as well as developing a foul odor. The treatment nurse chose not to call the wound care surgeon because he would be visiting the facility five days later, and she felt the wound status could wait.
Anyone in the medical field knows that a wound with a foul odor is cause for an immediate action. Last year we wrote about an incident at Westminster Village Nursing Home where gangrene led to the amputation of a resident’s limbs.
When the wound care surgeon arrived five days later, the doctor was adamant that the nursing staff committed nursing home neglect when they failed to take action. By the time the doctor arrived, the wound was extensive, and the resident had to be admitted to an Emergency Department. The wound doctor stated unequivocally that “If I were called earlier with that description of the wound I would have sent the resident out for surgical debridement right away.”
Wound debridement is an extremely painful procedure. By delaying notification of the deteriorating condition of the bed sore, the Berkshire Nursing and Rehab Center staff were ensuring that their resident would be subjected to a far more painful treatment.
Bed sores are one of the key indicators of nursing home neglect. When they are ignored, or their condition isn’t properly being reported or conveyed to the appropriate medical personnel, they often result in a wrongful death.