$ 1.5 Million Medical Malpractice Solution
Failure to Treat Pressure Ulcers
A lawsuit was filed on behalf of a client who developed leg ulcers while recovering in bed after spinal surgery. Although bedsores and ulcers develop frequently when a person cannot move for prolonged periods and when medical personnel do not take adequate measures to put the patient in different positions, medical malpractice in this case was also due to what happened after the ulcers appeared. The lawsuit was filed against the attending physician and the nursing home for their inability to treat leg ulcers and intervene in a timely manner.
The lawsuit alleged that the ulcers probably could have been adequately treated if they were detected in time, and that this negligence resulted in a complete infection, gangrene and subsequent loss of the leg. The case was brought to trial in an effort to secure the maximum amount on behalf of this brave woman, but just before the closing arguments were filed, the lawyers of the medical providers finally proposed an appropriate agreement that our client accepted, for the amount of $ 1,500,000.
On medical malpractice in the case of pressure ulcers
People enter hospitals and nursing homes due to countless conditions and diseases. While there, medical staff generally concentrates on diagnosing and treating the particular condition that led the patient to hospitalization. This approach is logical, but staff should never lose sight of the fact that new and potentially more dangerous complications may occur that may affect the patient’s health. Of these possible complications, one of the most serious are bedsores also known as pressure ulcers or pressure sores.
If the patient can easily move around and turn around in bed, sit, walk to the bathroom, etc., such a condition is unlikely to occur. This is because the condition is usually caused by lack of movement. A still patient who stays in bed and is not turned around or moved by nurses will experience pressure on certain parts of the body, often on the heels, ankles, hips, coccyx, buttocks or head. This pressure, especially in bone areas, results in the loss of blood flow that is required to transport the necessary oxygen to that part of the body. The limited circulation causes the eventual death of the skin and then the tissue under it. If it is not treated in time, the bone is exposed. When skin or tissue dies this way,
- Stage 1: In the initial stage the skin may turn red or discolored and, although there may be tenderness, there have been no breaks in the skin. When the pressure in the area is removed the discoloration remains.
- Stage 2: In this secondary stage, the skin is broken and there may be some drainage of pus or liquids. The broken upper layer of the skin creates a superficial sore.
- Stage 3: Similar to the second stage, this is still an open wound, but now it extends to deeper levels of the skin. Now the wound reaches the fatty tissues and drainage continues.
- Stage 4: In the final stage of development of a pressure ulcer, the rupture of the tissues is even deeper, reaching the muscles or even the bone. If emergency treatment or surgery is not performed at this point, the condition can be fatal.
Who is responsible?
These types of ulcers are not the fault of the patient or his family. The responsibility falls directly on the shoulders of the medical and nursing staff, who are in charge of the patient’s well-being. It takes little time to move and reposition the patient during the day. Therefore, whether in a hospital setting or a nursing home, failure to help a motionless patient avoid pressure ulcers is, at best, negligent, and can be considered abuse. If you believe a loved one has suffered because of medical malpractice , contact Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC for free information at (800) 996-4824 .