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ARTICLE ID 192409

$________ Medical Malpractice – Nursing Home Negligence – Development of sacral and heel pressure ulcers – 89-year-old resident dies between three to four months after first admission as alleged result of defendants' negligence.

Salem County, NJ

In this case, involving an 89-year-old nursing home resident, the plaintiff contended that the defendant nursing home and hospital each negligently failed to properly treat, evaluate and monitor the patient, leading to the developing and worsening of pressure ulcers, one of which, the sacral pressure ulcer, became infected, and required various debridements, including multiple surgical debridements. The plaintiff contended that the defendants’ own records documented that the nursing home resident-decedent needed extensive assistance with bed mobility.

The nursing home resident was a resident for approximately four and a-half weeks before he required a transfer to the defendant hospital. The plaintiff contended that during this period, a Stage II sacral pressure ulcer developed and that skin breakdown may have started in the heels as well, but that he clearly was admitted to the hospital with a large Stage II sacral pressure ulcer and developed heal ulcers and suffered a worsening of the sacral pressure ulcer during the hospitalization.

The decedent was a patient at the co-defendant hospital for approximately eight days and the plaintiff contended that inadequate monitoring, evaluation and treatment continued. The plaintiff maintained that over the course of the next approximate two-and- a-half-month period, the decedent was intermittently hospitalized as the wound on the sacral area became infected and ultimately reached the bone. The plaintiff alleged, as indicated on the death certificate, that the cause of death was a septic infection, due to the infected Stage IV sacral pressure ulcer.

The plaintiff alleged various violations of federal and state laws were committed by the defendant nursing home. The plaintiff contended that the decedent experienced severe pain and suffering during his final months, that his rights as a nursing home resident were violated and that the defendants’ negligence cause his death. The plaintiff pointed out that the nursing home resident had rights to dignity and a safe and environment, which were violated, under Federal and State Regulations, Rules and Statutes, and that the pressure ulcers were avoidable, all amounting to violations of the Nursing Home Act of New Jersey, as well as federal laws.

The plaintiffs also alleged record alterations against the nursing home. The defendants denied improper care was provided and contended that the frailty of the patient resulted in the death. The defendants denied that the plaintiff’s claims should be accepted and pointed to the evidence that morphine was not administered. The plaintiff countered that Roxanol, an extremely potent morphine derivative, was in fact given.After some 20 depositions, the case settled prior to trial for $________, including $________ from the hospital and $________ from the nursing home and/or their insurance carriers.

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