MS Patient Settles Pressure Sore Lawsuit Against Home Health Agency for $600,000

By Nursing Home Law Center

Multiple Sclerosis Bedsore

A woman with multiple sclerosis (MS) who was reliant on a home health care agency for medical assistance settled a lawsuit against the City of Seattle and Millennia home health care agency (Washington) for $600,000. The basis for the lawsuit was that a home health agency employee was negligent when they failed to follow the medical protocols set forth in the woman’s ‘care plan’ that was uniquely tailored to her needs. It was alleged that the home health agencies failure to follow the care plan resulted in the formation of the pressure sores (similarly called: pressure ulcers, decubitus ulcers or bed sores).

In addition to the home health agencies failure to prevent the pressure sores from developing, an employee of the agency failed notify managers at the agency of the wounds, thereby delaying medical treatment and exacerbating the severity of the wounds. Due to the stage 4 pressure sores, the woman required admission to Providence Hospital in Washington for two months of wound care.

During the hospitalization, doctors performed two surgeries to treat the pressure sores that had progressed so far that an infection had developed and spread to the bone (osteomyelitis). In addition to the osteomyelitis, the pressure sores were also infected with MRSA, a bacteria that is difficult to treat.

This sad incident demonstrates what can happen when staff at home health agencies, nursing homes and hospitals fail to follow ‘care plans’. Care plans are uniquely developed programs that are developed by physicians and other medical professionals to address the needs of each patient.

Should a home care nurse agency ignore the protocols set forth in a care plan or fail to provide accurate feedback of the patients medical condition monitor they expose themselves to liability for a resulting injury.

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