August 3, 2014, theledger.com reported that a woman suffered from bedsores,
dehydration, and several infections, including staph and sepsis, before
dying at the nursing home where she resided for nearly two years. One
of the woman’s six children has filed a
wrongful death lawsuit for neglect.
Three years ago, the CDC said 20 percent of septic patients over age 65
die after being hospitalized. Septicemia is the most common reason nursing
home residents are transferred to the hospital, according to modernhealthcare.com,
sepsis as “a fast-moving infection that often begins in the skin, lungs
or abdomen and then spreads to the bloodstream.”
Sepsis can enter the bloodstream through bedsores, or pressure sores, when
a patient becomes bedridden. The most likely candidates to develop bedsores
are elderly people who are too weak or malnourished to move,
spinal cord injury victims, and
coma patients, per medicalnewstoday.com.
In 2009, a nursing home was sued for wrongful death after neglecting to
treat a woman’s bedsores. When she first arrived from the hospital,
she had three stage II pressure sores on her buttocks and one on each
heel, said madisonrecord.com. By the time she was discharged one week
later, the ulcers on her buttocks had reached stage IV, and the sores
on her heels had multiplied. She died of sepsis and acute respiratory
failure nearly three weeks later.
April 6, 2011, an ABC News affiliate reported that a 76-year-old nursing
home resident died after a 10-inch by 4-inch-deep bedsore on her back
became septic. One month earlier, a nursing home employee tried strangling
her with a sweater, according to the county prosecutor. The woman’s
family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the facility for abuse and neglect.
More recently, a Pulitzer-prize winning reporter for CBS said one nursing
home chain has been cited for health violations 10 times in the last two
years. It has also faced several lawsuits for negligence.
“One charges that [a nursing home] left a patient on oxygen to breathe
from an oxygen tank that was empty or turned off on ‘multiple occasions’
over six weeks. She died of respiratory failure,” CBS said. “Another
alleges a [resident] suffered ‘unnecessary pain and suffering’
when left ‘untreated’ for a fractured shin bone for 48 hours
and untreated for a fractured thigh bone for a ‘significant length
One resident’s son and daughter said their mother fell at least 14
times, was left lying on the floor up to 20 minutes after a fall in the
bathroom, and developed bedsores. According to the article, “When
[they] took her to an outside doctor for treatment … the assisted-living
facility failed to follow the doctor’s wound-care instructions.
As a result, the lawsuit charges Marie-Rose developed a Stage IV pressure
sore that became infected, required surgical treatment and other procedures,
‘all of which caused or contributed to causing her death.’”
If you have questions about a loved one’s bedsores or sepsis death, attorney
Chris Mellino invites you to
contact our Cleveland office for a free consultation before Ohio’s statute
of limitations expires on your potential claim.