According to Law 360, a recent lawsuit filed on behalf of Alfonzer Patrick against Virtua Health, Care One LLC and Kessler Institute of Rehabilitation, alleges that the center caused or contributed to his death when he developed severe bedsores that caused him to go into septic shock. According to the lawsuit, Mr. Patrick had undergone spinal surgery at Marlton Rehabilitation Hospital and was then transferred to different facilities where staff failed to provide adequate and aggressive treatment for his bedsores.
Bedsores develop over time due to a lack of blood flow to that particular area of the body. Oftentimes, bedsores occur when a patient remains sedentary, which is a common sign of neglect. The constant pressure from being immobile leads to sores that in this instance were life-threatening because they were not properly treated. Usually, these sores are seen in areas such as the back, tailbone, and shoulders. The pressure placed on these areas constricts blood flow and wears away at the skin causing open wounds that expose muscle and bone, ultimately leading to a life-threatening infection if it is not diagnosed and treated in a timely manner.
According to Law360, after Mr. Patrick received cervical decompression and fusion surgery, he was transferred to Marlton Rehabilitation Hospital, where caregivers documented that the patient had a pressure sore on his buttocks. From January 2016 to February 2016, the sore grew in size. He was then transferred back to the hospital, where physician’s diagnosed him with septic shock. From early February 2016 until late March 2016, Mr. Patrick was transferred back and forth to multiple facilities where physicians noted severe and multiple pressure sores. However, clinicians failed to properly treat the sores. On March 21, 2016, Mr. Patrick experienced “confusion, weakness, and difficulty in breathing.” Mr. Patrick then underwent surgery on a necrotic sacral wound and died a few weeks later.
This tragic case demonstrates the importance of taking aggressive and immediate action to properly heal bedsores as soon as it is discovered. Methods of treatment include:
- Constant repositioning;
- Physical therapy for increased circulation;
- Diet change for increased nutritional needs; and
- Utilization of a wound vacuum.
Bedsores are often avoided when a patient is provided with adequate care, such as being moved regularly, cleaned, having garments changed, and receiving a balanced diet. While extremely disheartening, the failure to provide adequate care to patients in an institutionalized setting is very common. In addition, the elderly population is most vulnerable to bedsores, due to immobility and neglect while receiving institutionalized care.
If a healthcare institution does not provide the care needed to combat a noted bedsore, it is important to take action immediately because the consequences can be fatal.
If your loved one has died or suffered a serious injury as a result of institutionalized negligence, the New York nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers at Levine & Slavit, PLLC are available to assist you immediately. Our dedicated and compassionate attorneys will fight to protect your legal rights and remedies. Contact our New York City and Long Island nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers at (888) LAW-8088.