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ARTICLE ID 182501

$________ Medical malpractice - Nursing home negligence - Failure to adequately train and supervise the nursing staff results in improper wound care to the decedent's ulcers resulting in the death of the decedent nursing home resident.

Bexar County, Texas

In this nursing home malpractice matter, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant was negligent in failing to properly train and supervise its staff which resulted in the failure to properly care for the plaintiff’s father, who died as a result of the improper care. The defendant denied the allegations and maintained that there was no deviation from acceptable standards of care. The defendant contended that the decedent’s death was not due to any breach of care by its staff.

The aged decedent was admitted to the defendant’s nursing home facility on May 7, ________. He suffered from a history of Parkinson’s disease, stroke and COPD. On July 4, ________ he was transferred from the defendant’s facility to the hospital for treatment. He was diagnosed with an abrasion blister on his left hip and left ankle. He was malnourished and a feeding tube was inserted at that time.

He was transferred back to the defendant’s facility on July 15th. He was assessed as having a Stage I pressure ulcer on his left hip and a Stage II pressure ulcer on his right hip. He was accessed at a high risk of skin breakdown. Despite being a high risk, the plaintiff alleged that the nursing staff failed to properly care for the decedent. The areas on the decedent’s hips progressed to Stage IV ulcers that were necrotic and infected. The staff failed to properly turn the decedent, failed to monitor his fluid intake and failed to take preventative measures to prevent skin breakdown.

On August 20th, the decedent was transferred via ambulance to the hospital. It was noted at the hospital that the decedent’s pressure ulcers were not properly dressed, were necrotic and infected. On August 23rd he underwent a surgical debridement which included bilateral excision with ostectomy. The decedent was transferred back to the nursing home where he continued to suffer from pressure ulcers and died on November 8.

The plaintiff brought suit against the defendant alleging that the defendant was negligent in failing to properly supervise and train its nursing staff in the proper wound care and treatment of pressure ulcers, as well as care and treatment of patients. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant’s nurses failed to consistently turn and reposition the decedent and failed to provide proper wound care. The nursing staff failed to properly document the decedent’s wound conditions and failed to timely notify the physician and the plaintiff of the decedent’s worsening condition.

The defendant denied the allegations and disputed liability. The defendant maintained that there was no deviation from acceptable standards of care and the death of the decedent was unrelated to the care he received at the defendant’s facility.

The matter was tried and the jury returned its verdict in favor of the plaintiff and against the defendants. The jury awarded the plaintiff the total sum of $________ in damages which consisted of $________ for the decedent’s pain and suffering; $________ for the decedent’s mental pain and anguish and $________ for the decedent’s medical expenses.

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