Nursing home residents are especially at risk for developing skin infections. Therefore, nursing homes should have a lot of practice at developing skin care plans for residents in order to prevent skin breakdown and the development of skin ulcers. However, recent Illinois nursing home negligence case involved allegations that the nursing home failed to implement a care plan that would have prevented the decedent’s skin from deteriorating. Moffett v. Mercy Health Care Rehab. Ctr., No. 06 L 11430.
Another issue in the Illinois nursing home negligence case was whether the nursing home had taken adequate steps to prevent the decedent from falling while in the nursing home’s care. Upon her admission to the Mercy Health Care Rehab Ctr., the decedent, Alberta Jones, was at risk for falling due to a recent stroke. During her time at Mercy Rehab, Jones did in fact fall and required a brace to support her right femur.
The brace caused her skin to breakdown when the device rubbed up against her leg. Over a period of weeks, nursing home employees and nurses chose not to monitor this patient who then developed osteomyelitis, a bone infection. Skin ulcers that have spread uncontrollably can cause osteomyelitis if the skin breaks down so far that the bone is exposed to air. If a patient develops osteomyelitis from skin ulcers it is normally a red flag that the nursing home did not implement a proper skin care plan and is an indicator of nursing home negligence.
In this case the osteomyelitis was in fact the cause of the nursing home resident’s death. She died just six months after her initial fall, leaving behind an adult daughter. The nursing home settled with the plaintiff’s estate for $690,000.
Kreisman Law Offices has been handling Illinois nursing home negligence cases for over 30 years, serving those areas in and around Chicago, including Barrington, Wilmette, Downers Grove, and Orland Park.
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