Bed Sore Injury Cases

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jun 19, 2018

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Nursing home bed sore injuries, also known as decubitis ulcers, can lead to serious injury or death. If a nursing home employee’s negligent actions have caused a patient to suffer this type of injury, that patient may have a malpractice case.

Injuries Can Be Very Serious

Often times patients suffering from bed sores are transferred to the hospital and are put on morphine or some sort of really high narcotic pain medication. If this type of ulcer is not treated urgently, it can progress into a larger stage and the skin tissue can open and become infected. Once infected, it can spread to the entire body and cause the death.

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Cause

Bed sores result from patients that are bed ridden but not turned often enough.

There are mattresses that are being pushed on nursing homes that actually have sensors that record how often people are turned and will send alerts when someone isn’t turned. Nursing homes are resisting purchasing them due to their high cost, but also because of legal exposure. On the flip side, insurance companies for nursing homes are starting to push these and have said that they won’t insure unless these mattresses are used in client facilities.

Liability

It is ultimately the nursing home who is responsible. Although an individual nurse might be responsible for a person being turned in a timely manner, the nursing home itself should have protocols for making sure this happens. Defendants in lawsuits are often the individual employee of the home and the administrators of the home.

What to Do if You Suspect Bed Sores

  1. Report the matter to the state’s public health department so that they can immediately conduct an investigation. They’re generally very aggressive with these matters.
  2. Contact the administrator of the nursing home immediately to insist that your loved one receive proper care. Be very interactive and diligent; don’t stop communication until you are absolutely certain proper care is being administered.
  3. Contact an attorney versed in nursing home or elder care litigation. Get a lawyer involved as soon as an injury has occurred as a result of poor or improper treatment. The sooner you have legal representation, the better your chances of a successful malpractice lawsuit will be.

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Jury Awards $12M to a South Carolina Family

A South Carolina jury sent a message to Health South, a rehabilitation nursing home hospital, by awarding $12.3 million in damages to the family of a man whose stage four bedsores contributed to his death. The home’s conduct was so outrageous that the jury awarded consisted of $8 million in punitive damages.

This South Carolina nursing home bedsore lawsuit involves 50 year old Vernon Sulton. According to news reports, Sulton suffered a gunshot wound as an innocent bystander, was paralyzed from the waist down and was sent to South Carolina’s Health South Nursing Home to recuperate. While there, he developed life threatening, stage four bed sores because the nursing home staff was either too busy to turn him or simply didn’t follow their own procedures.

Sulton, who was suffering from a host of ailments, was transferred to a different facility and later died from complications. His family hired a South Carolina nursing home abuse attorney and filed a lawsuit against the facility.

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