IDPH has cited and fined MarKa Nursing Home in Mascoutah after a resident there developed a bed sore from being left sitting on top of a bed pan too long.
Bed sores are also called pressure sores or pressure ulcers because the key component in causing these wounds is pressure. Usually that pressure is caused by the weight of the body over a bony prominence against a resting surface. This is why you tend to see bed sores on the hips, buttocks, tailbone, and the heels. It also helps explain why the sores are round or oval in shape typically.
However, the pressure caused by the weight of the body against a resting surface is not the only thing that can cause bed sores. Medical devices such as casts or braces can also cause pressure sores when the device is not applied properly or the device is not removed frequently enough. The cue that there was an injury caused by a medical device is that the shape and location of the wound corresponds to a contact point between the skin and the device.
That was the case in this instance, as a resident was placed on top of a bed pan and then left on the bed pan for an extended period of time. Her daughter changed her and got her into bed the night before and her skin was free of any skin breakdowns. The next day her daughter discovered a wound on her buttocks and tailbone which corresponded to the shape of the bed pain that was in her room. The only explanation for this wound was that she was left sitting on top of the bed pan long enough to cause these injuries. The director of nursing reported to the state surveyor that they were unable to determine who the aide was that placed her on the bed pan or who got her off.
The citation describes the total length of the wound as being 54 cm or more than two feet in length with portions of it being described as a deep tissue injury and portions of it being described as an unstageable wound. In short, this is a large, significant, painful (the resident told the state surveyor that it hurt to sit) bed sore which was completely and utterly preventable.
This is the kind of wound that is a powerful indicator of understaffing of the nursing home. A resident should spend more more than a couple of minutes on a bed pan, yet this resident was left on top of one long enough to cause serious injury. The likely scenario for this is that a staff member put her on top of a bed pan and then simply got so busy attending to the needs of other residents that they either forgot about this resident or was simply never got around to getting her off the bed pan. Since this occurred during the middle of the night when there are generally fewer residents in need of care, this speaks strongly to the nursing home being understaffed. Understaffing of the nursing home places residents at risk for all sorts of needless injuries, in particular nursing home falls and bed sores. A nursing home abuse and neglect lawsuit involving any of these issues should include a cxareful examination of the staffing levels at this nursing home.
Understaffing of the nursing home is of course a feature, not a bug, in the nursing home business model. One of our core beliefs is that nursing homes are built to fail due to the business model they follow and that unnecessary accidental injuries and wrongful deaths of residents are the inevitable result. Order our FREE report, Built to Fail, to learn more about why. Our experienced Chicago nursing home lawyers are ready to help you understand what happened, why, and what your rights are. Contact us to get the help you need.
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