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Lawsuit Ensues After Patient Develops Decubitus Ulcers on Back and Heels During Rehab Stint in Nursing Home
By Nursing Home Law Center
An orthopedic rehabilitation patient who developed multiple decubitus ulcers on his back and heels has filed a lawsuit against the nursing home where the wounds developed.
Nursing Home and Management Company
The lawsuit alleges that Highland Health Care Center (Illinois) and its parent company Covenant Care Midwest failed to implement preventative measures to avoid the development of decubitus ulcers during a short-term admission. The nursing home patient was admitted to the facility for physical therapy and nursing care following a complete knee replacement surgery.
Despite the facilities knowledge that the man had limited mobility due to his recent surgery, the facility failed to mobilize the man and get him out of bed– and perform the physical therapy he was at the facility for in the first place.
In addition to the role the nursing home played in the the development of the patients decubitus ulcers (similarly called: pressure ulcers, pressure sores or decubitus ulcers), the lawsuit alleges that the facility exacerbated the severity of the wounds when they delayed obtaining medical treatment. As a result of the severity of the decubitus ulcers, the dead skin needed to be removed surgically by a process known as surgical debridement.
Specific Allegations in Lawsuit
The lawsuit specifically alleged the following negligent acts on the part of the nursing home resulted in the patients decubitus ulcers:
- Failing to notify a physician of the change in the man’s medical condition
- Failing to implement medical treatments ordered by the man’s physician
- Failing to note changes in the man’s medical condition in the man’s chart
- Failing to implement a decubitus ulcer prevention program
The lawsuit is pending in Madison County Circuit Court in Southern Illinois.
Rehabilitation Patients in Nursing Home
In our nursing home litigation practice, we see a significant number of cases where a rehab patient has developed a decubitus ulcer during a short-term admission to a nursing home. The underlying reasons may be varied, but I suspect that because many rehab patients tend to be younger and have an outward appearance that they are healthy, staff in nursing homes may be less likely to encourage them to engage in activity.