A recent Illinois nursing home negligence settlement highlights one of the biggest problems plaguing nursing home residents – inadequate skin care. Many nursing home residents are bedridden and require careful monitoring and stringent skin care plans in order to avoid developing skin ulcers, which if untreated can lead to infection or even death.
This case involved an Illinois nursing home resident at Provena Senior Services Nursing Home in Kane County, Illinois. In this Illinois nursing home abuse lawsuit, the nursing home resident was a diabetic patient, which left him even more at risk for potential skin breakdown if inadequate nursing care was provided. A diabetic patient is also more at risk for having a poor outcome if skin ulcers develop, which is also shown in this case where the skin ulcer worsened to the point that the nursing home resident required a below the knee amputation.
The Illinois nursing home negligence lawsuit alleged that the nursing staff had failed to maintain adequate skin care, which resulted in the development of a skin ulcer. However, the defendant nursing home denied that it had caused the skin ulcer to develop.
This is a common argument by a nursing home when skin ulcers are involved in Illinois nursing home negligence claims, especially if the plaintiff has been treated at outside facilities or hospitals during the course of his stay. However, the nursing home medical records often have detailed charting of a nursing home resident’s skin condition so there should be evidence of exactly when the relevant skin ulcers began.
And while there is not necessarily an Illinois statute governing the specific steps a nursing home needs to take in order to prevent the development of skin ulcers, Illinois law does require its nursing homes to have detailed skin care policies in place. These policies would include methods of scoring a resident’s risk for developing skin ulcers, which would certainly take into consideration whether or not the resident was diabetic as this increases the risk for skin breakdown. The policies would then detail what steps should be taken by the nursing staff at each risk level with regards to what type of bedding should be used, how often the patient should be turned, and any other care required. Furthermore, these policies and procedures should be made available to opposing counsel upon request.
While the case facts are compelling and obviously disturbing considering that the skin ulcer was allowed to develop until the Illinois nursing home resident required an amputation, the case was settled before it went to trial so that we are denied the opportunity of seeing how a jury would have interpreted the case facts. The plaintiff continued to allege that the Illinois nursing home staff was responsible for the development of the skin ulcer and the resulting amputation, the defendant nursing home alleged that the plaintiff was responsible for the skin ulcer worsening after he left the facility. The case was settled for $500,000.
Kreisman Law Offices has been handling Illinois nursing home abuse cases for over 30 years, serving those areas in and around Kane County and Cook County, including Chicago, Oak Lawn, Elmhurst, and Glenview.
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