A Seattle woman settled a lawsuit against the City of Seattle and Millennia home health care agency for $600,000. The lawsuit alleged that the home health agency worker failed to follow the care plan specifically developed for people with Multiple Sclerosis.
The failure to follow the care plan lead to development of bedsores or pressure sores. The home care worker was to shift the woman’s weight every 15 minutes to prevent development of the sores.
Not only did the home care worker fail to prevent the pressure sores from developing, the worker failed to properly treat them. Consequently, the woman was admitted to Providence Hospital for two months of medical treatment. Two surgeries were performed to treat the pressure sores which were so far advanced, the infection had spread to the bone. The pressure sores were also infected with MRSA, a potentially life threatening bacteria.
This sad incident highlights the need of home care nurses to properly implement care plans. Care plans are developed by physicians and other medical professionals, that specifically lay out what medical treatment is to be provided. If a home care nurse or agency fails to follow the care plan or fails to properly monitor the patient and an injury develops, they have liability similar to that of nursing homes.
Read more about this case of nursing neglect by a home care agency here.