Everything listed under: sepsis

  • Patient Fractures Shoulder in Fall from Hoyer Lift; Nursing Home Settles

    An elderly female nursing home patient was totally dependent upon staff for transfers. The patient was transferred using a hoyer lift, which is a full mechanical lift that suspends the patient in a sling as the patient is transferred from one seating surface to another. During a transfer with a hoyer lift, the nursing home allowed the patient to fall and sustain an impacted fracture of her left shoulder. The nursing home also failed to provide the patient with adequate meals and fluid intake to prevent weight loss and dehydration. Specifically, the patient was allowed to lose seven percent of her body weight over a 180 day period, and she continued to lose weight thereafter. The patient ultimately developed a urinary tract infection with sepsis, was admitted to a local hospital, and died there several weeks after admission.

    The nursing home settled the case for a generous amount before trial. The nursing home requested confidentiality concerning the amount of the settlement.



    Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia.
  • Lynchburg Area Assisted Living Facility Settles After Patient Dies from Sepsis

    A Lynchburg area assisted living facility's patient began over a weekend to exhibit clinical symptoms that were for him highly unusual: back pain of unknown source; staying in bed; decreased appetite; and urinary incontinence.  During this time, the assisted living facility did not contact either the patient's physician or his family in response to the patient's changing condition.  When the patient's family first became aware of the changes, they requested for him to be transferred to the hospital by ambulance.  When ambulance personnel arrived, the facility's staff stated the patient had not been himself in the several days before the ambulance was called.  Ambulance personnel also noted when they responded that the patient did not know who he was, where he was, or what time it was, was unable to stand, and required maximum assistance for transfers.  The patient was admitted to the hospital and died there of sepsis within approximately 18 hours after he was admitted. 

    The patient's family claimed the assisted living facility failed to recognize and obtain prompt medical attention for the patient's changing condition.  We settled the case against the assisted living facility for six figures on terms that, at the facility's request, remain confidential.
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    Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia.

  • 91-Year-Old Patient Develops Pressure Ulcer (Bed Sore) and Dies; Nursing Home Settles for $400,000

    A 91-year-old patient of a nursing home was allowed to develop a pressure ulcer (bed sore, bedsore, pressure sore, decubitus ulcer) on her sacrum (low back).  The pressure ulcer deteriorated and she died three and one-half months later. 

    On admission to the nursing home, the patient did not have any pressure ulcers.  She was, however, dependent on the nursing home’s staff for turning and respositionStage IV Sacral Pressure Ulcer (Bed Sore, Bedsore, Pressure Sore, Decubitus Ulcer)ing due to mobility and cognitive deficits.  The patient's family contended the pressure ulcer was caused and deteriorated because staff at the nursing home did not use proper transfer techniques, which resulted in friction and shear forces on the sacrum, and did not consistently turn and reposition the patient in bed.

    Within three weeks after the pressure ulcer (bed sore, bedsore, pressure sore, decubitus ulcer) was first observed, the wound was documented to have been "worsening, with more maceration seen on wound edges."  Several days later, the pressure ulcer was noted to have increased in size from 4.0 cm x 2.5 cm to 5.0 cm x 3.5 cm and 50% of the wound bed was documented to have been comprised of necrotic tissue.  

    The patient thereafter was admitted for one week to a local hospital for reasons unrelated to the wound.  On admission to the hospital, the patient's pressure ulcer (bed sore, bedsore, pressure sore, decubitus ulcer) was documented to be stage II with dimensions of 7 cm x 3 cm – a 20% increase in size in the three days before her hospital admission.  When she was discharged from the hospital one week later and returned to the nursing home, the pressure ulcer (bed sore, bedsore, pressure sore, decubitus ulcer) was "unstageable" with dimensions of 5.0 cm x 6.2 cm and 80% dark brown slough.  The nursing home claimed the hospital was  to blame for the deterioration of the ulcer during the patient's hospitalization.  We contended the deteriStage IV Sacral Pressure Ulceroration of the patient's ulcer was inevitable whether the patient was in a hospital or some other health care facility because the ulcer was bad and getting worse before the hospitalization.  

    As the nursing home's failures to turn and reposition the patient continued, the pressure ulcer continued to deteriorate.  Within a couple of weeks after the patient's hospitalization, and despite aggressive wound therapy, the wound measured 11.0 cm x 11.0 cm, had purulent drainage (pus), an odor, and was contaminated with MRSA.  The patient was discharged from the nursing home to her own home with hospice care.  Even though pain medication was prescribed for use at home, the patient frequently experienced "breakthrough pain" from the ulcer, especially before and after dressing changes and when repositioned.  The patient died several weeks later as a direct result of sepsis (systemic infection) caused by the pressure ulcer (bed sore, bedsore, pressure sore, decubitus ulcer).  She was survived by two daughters and a granddaughter. 

    The nursing home contended the patient's pressure ulcer was unavoidable because of the patient's age, poor nutritional status, and chronic end stage kidney disease.  Her kidney disease prevented her from eliminating waste products and fluid from her blood.  She had pre-existing hypoalbuminemia (low protein), which typically would have required her protein level to be supplemented.  However, if she had received additional protein, an even greater buildup of protein would have occurred because of the kidney disease and kidney failure would have resulted.  The nursing home also contended that, despite the family's claims, the patient was consistently and timely turned and repositioned  

    The case settled for $400,000 well before trial.
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    Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia

  • Patient Fractures Hip, Develops Pressure Ulcers, and Dies; Hospital and Nursing Home Settle

    An elderly male patient was admitted to a local hospital in severe respiratory distress and was intubated.  When his condition began to stabilize several days later, he was transferred from the hospital's intensive care unit (ICU) to an orthopedic floor.  The next day, he fell and sustained a left hip fracture, which required surgical repair.  Left Hip Fracture With Surgical Fixation

    He was later fitted with a brace that immobilized his left leg, and he was transferred to a nearby nursing home for rehabilitation.  While at the nursing home, he developed severe pressure ulcers (bed sores, bedsores, pressure sores, decubitus ulcers) over his lower back (sacrum), left heel, and left calf.  The pressure ulcers (bed sores, bedsores, pressure sores, decubitus ulcers) did not improve and became infected, and the patient died two months later of sepsis (systemic infection).  On the family's behalf, we filed claims against the hospital and the nursing home. 

    We claimed the hospital was negligent because it failed to recognize the patient was a high fall risk and failed to take fall prevention measures that included more vigilant supervision, a bed alarm to alert staff if he attempted to rise from bed unassisted, a low/lowered bed, and a fall mat at bedside.  With respect to the sacral and heel pressure ulcers (bed sores, bedsores, pressure sores, decubitus ulcers), we claimed the nursing home was negligent because it failed to turn and reposition the patient consistently every two hours and more often as necessary while he was in bed and failed to ensure his heels were appropriately off-loaded at all times, either by floating his heels or by using heel suspension devices.   With respect to the left calf pressure ulcer (bed sore, bedsore, pressure sore, decubitus ulcer), we claimed the nursing home failed to eliminate or relieve pressure around the leg brace which resulted in friction and shear that caused the pressure ulcer (bed sore, bedsore, pressure sore, decubitus ulcer).  

    The case settled approximately one month before trial in the mid six figures.
    ________________________________________________________________
    Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia

  • Patient's Feeding Tube Improperly Replaced; Richmond Area Nursing Home Settles

    A nursing home patient died days after his PEG feeding tube became dislodged atImproper PEG Tube Placement the facility and was replaced by a nurse who didn't first confirm proper placement.  Instead of being placed back into the stomach, the PEG tube was inserted into the patient's peritoneal cavity. 

    The facility's nurse was negligent because the tract for the feeding tube was of questionable maturity when the nurse attempted "blindly" to reinsert the feeding tube.  Endoscopic or radiographic (x-ray) guided replacement of the tube, which was not done, was required in the absence of a mature tract.  The nurse also failed to confirm proper placement of the tube either radiographically using a water-soluble contrast or by aspirating gastric contents with a syringe and testing the aspirate for pH to confirm proper intragastric position before starting to tube feed. 

    When tube feeding resumed, feeding formula was pumped into the periotneal cavity and resulted in peritonitis (infection of the lining of the abdominal wall), sepsis (systemic bacterial infection of the body), and an eight-day hospitalization during which the patient died.  According to the patient's long-time primary care physician, his life expectancy at the time of the neglect was six months due to pre-existing and unrelated medical conditions.

    The case was settled well before trial.  The settlement terms are confidential at the nursing home's request.
    ________________________________________________________________
    Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia. 

    Improper PEG Tube Placementv

 

PLEASE NOTE: THE RESULTS OBTAINED IN SPECIFIC CASES DEPEND ON A VARIETY OF FACTORS UNIQUE TO EACH CASE.  PAST CASE RESULTS DO NOT GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR RESULT IN FUTURE CASES.  THE RESULTS DESCRIBED IN THIS WEBSITE ARE FROM VIRGINIA CASES HANDLED DIRECTLY BY OUR OFFICE.