A pending trial against Retama Manor Nursing Center (Texas) will put a families allegations of improper nursing care and poor medical charting—front and center before a jury.
The trial commenced by the family of Emilo Gonzalez, a patient with motile medical complications including: partial paralysis, anemia, seizure disorder, decreased appetite, dementia and Parkinson’s disease, alleges that despite a medical chart that seems to substantiate regular care—including crucial bed sore preventative measures such as turning and re-positioning, the care was never actually provided.
Lawyers for the nursing home, assert that the facility actually performed all of the care that the records demonstrate and the development of Mr. Gonzalez’s bed sore (similarly referred to as: pressure sores, pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers) was simply an unavoidable medical condition that developed due to the fact the Mr. Gonzalez’s body was shutting down.
Inevitability is a common defense asserted by nursing homes and hospitals in litigation involving the development of a bedsore during an admission to the facility. Despite these arguments, it usually is readily from the testimony of staff at the facility that the care indicated in the patient’s chart was not, nor could have been provided.
As we await to hear how the jury decides this matter, falsified medical charting is a common element of nursing home negligence matters. As a nursing home lawyer, I have worked on a number of cases where patients’ charts indicated care was provided at a specific date and time— only when such care would have been physically impossible due to the fact that the patient was dead or had been discharged to another facility.
Certainly, if indeed the medical records in this matter were falsified, it wouldn’t surprise me to see a jury return a substantial verdict in favor of the deceased patients family.