On March 11, 2022, a Florida nursing home chain was hit with a $12,353,604 verdict against it for a resident developing a bedsore that became infected down to the bone. The resident, who had spina bifida, was a resident of Life Care Center of Orlando for one month in 2017 as a result of a fall. The resident was at high risk for developing a pressure sore due to immobility. The resident claimed that the nursing home failed to properly reposition her to relieve pressure on her body.
The Florida nursing home negligence jury deliberated for about four hours after a ten-day trial before finding Life Care Centers of America, the parent company of Life Care Center of Orlando, 87% responsible for the verdict and the resident 13% responsible (the defendant claimed that the resident contributed to her own injuries). The jury’s verdict included $1,728,604 for the resident’s medical expenses and $10, 625,000 for the pain and suffering experienced by the resident. Because the resident was found to be 13% responsible for her own injuries, allegedly because she chose to remain in positions that increased the pressure on parts of her body, the verdict will likely be reduced to approximately $10.74 million.
Pressure ulcers, also known as bed sores, pressure sores, or decubitus ulcers, are wounds caused by unrelieved pressure on the skin. They usually develop over bony prominences, such as the elbow, heel, hip, shoulder, back, and back of the head. Pressure ulcers are serious medical conditions and one of the important measures of the quality of clinical care in nursing homes .
From about 2% to 28% of nursing home residents have pressure ulcers.
The most common system for staging pressure ulcers classifies them based on the depth of soft tissue damage, ranging from the least severe (stage 1) to the most severe (stage 4). There is persistent redness of skin in stage 1; a loss of partial thickness of skin appearing as an abrasion, blister, or shallow crater in stage 2; a loss of full thickness of skin, presented as a deep crater in stage 3; and a loss of full thickness of skin exposing muscle or bone in stage 4. Clinical practice guidelines for pressure ulcers have been developed and provide specific treatment recommendations for stage 2 or higher pressure ulcers, including proper wound care.
Data from the National Nursing Home Survey, 2004 found:
- In 2004, about 159,000 current U.S. nursing home residents (11%) had pressure ulcers. Stage 2 pressure ulcers were the most common.
- Residents aged 64 years and under were more likely than older residents to have pressure ulcers.
- Residents of nursing homes for a year or less were more likely to have pressure ulcers than those with longer stays.
- One in five nursing home residents with a recent weight loss had pressure ulcers.
- Thirty-five percent of nursing home residents with stage 2 or higher (more severe) pressure ulcers received special wound care services in 2004.
If you or a loved one suffered harm while a resident of a nursing home in Florida or in another U.S. state due to nursing home pressure ulcers, nursing home understaffing, nursing home abuse, nursing home neglect, nursing home negligence, or the failure to provide appropriate care for a vulnerable adult, you should promptly find a nursing home claim lawyer in Florida or in your state who may investigate your nursing home claim for you and file a nursing home claim on your behalf or behalf of your loved one, if appropriate.
Visit our website to be connected with medical malpractice attorneys (nursing home claim attorneys) in your U.S. state who may assist you with your nursing home claim, or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959.
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