Nursing home abuse

How Bedsores Can Become Deadly

September 25, 2018 by Carrie Capouellez
Preventable Medical Errors

Nursing homes are often thought to be best equipped to care for elderly family members in need when we can’t do it ourselves. Sometimes, however, this is not the case and many nursing home residents face situations involving negligence and other bad acts. At times, nursing home patients can experience painful bedsores left untreated for long periods of time, resulting in painful infections and sometimes death.

A recent article by The Chicago Tribune found a local nursing home frequently failed to prevent patient’s bedsores from turning into deadly infections due to understaffing issues. The story itself featured the negligence and wrongful death claims of an 85-year-old resident at the Lakeview Rehabilitation and Nursing Center. The patient’s family members stated they were not notified of the seriousness of the bedsore that eventually lead to sepsis, a severe infection which can be fatal if not treated.

Complications related to bedsores often require intravenous antibiotics and sensitive care treatments to treat bloodstream infections. Nursing home bedsore injuries can even result in painful surgeries to cut away at dead skin around the sores. Out of the 6,000 Illinois nursing home residents hospitalized each year due to sepsis, one in five will not survive.

Since 2015, 72 percent of nursing homes across the country have been cited for either not having or not following an infection control protocol. In Illinois, for example, that figure stands at 88 percent of nursing home facilities. The CDC is suggesting all nursing homes have an infectious disease strategy as well as an illness prevention outbreak program; however, it is just as important nursing home staff carries out these protocols effectively. Any employee shortages that could result in the spread of infectious diseases could leave facilities accountable for disease related deaths.

Unfortunately, Illinois nursing home staff levels remain some of the lowest in the country, with Chicago specifically falling below the national average. Health officials have linked the inadequate staffing to bedsores and other resident related injuries and illnesses like sepsis for many years, but have ignored guidelines and needed changes to the regulation of staffing remain dormant.

Nursing Home Negligence & Abuse Attorneys

Failing to provide the necessary care and attention to our elderly loved ones can lead to serious injury or even death. For over 30 years, the law firm of Lopez McHugh has successfully represented Philadelphia nursing home residents and their families. We are committed to protecting these vulnerable members of society by taking legal action to hold these institutions accountable when safety rules are violated. If you or a loved one were victimized by neglect or abuse while in the care of a nursing home or senior citizen living facility, contact us today for a free consultation.

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