Articles Posted in Pressure Sores

Martha Pierce, 83, suffered a stroke and became partially paralyzed and weak on her right side. She required additional assistance from her nursing facility, the Allenbrooke Nursing & Rehabilitation Center.  One of the nursing home’s staff members identified Stage IV pressure ulcers on Pierce’s right foot. Even in view of that serious condition, the ulcers were allowed to worsen and Pierce developed sepsis. As a result, she required an above-the-knee amputation of her right leg and died four months later.

Pierce’s estate and family sued the nursing home and several corporate entities, claiming negligence in violation of the state’s Nursing Home Protection Act. The jury entered a verdict of $30 million, which included $28 million in punitive damages.

The attorneys representing Martha Pierce’s family were Kenneth L. Connor, Carey Acerra and Cameron Jehl.

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On April 13, 2016, a release from the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP) stated that the term “pressure injury” replaces “pressure ulcer” in the NPUAP injury staging system. According to the report, a change in terminology more accurately describes pressure injuries to both intact and ulcerated skin. It was concluded that the previous staging system was confusing. A Stage I and Deep Tissue Injury described injured intact skin, while the other stages describe open wounds or ulcers.

In another change in terminology, the panel is now using Arabic numbers instead of Roman numerals in the names of stages.

A meeting of over 400 professionals was held in Chicago on April 8-9, 2016. Using what was called the consensus format, Dr. Mikel Gray of the University of Virginia guided the Staging Task Force.

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Genevieve Thompson, 74, was hospitalized and required assistance with all activities of daily living due to her long list of health problems. One of them included morbid obesity.

During her hospitalization, she developed a Stage II pressure sore, which was documented two days before she was transferred to a nursing home for rehabilitation.

About a week and a half into the nursing home residency, she was transferred back to the hospital where she was diagnosed with sepsis. She required debridement and other wound treatment for the bed sores, which by then had worsened. She required institutional care at the hospital for the next several months.

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William Dieser, 58, underwent surgery at St. Anthony’s Medical Center in St. Louis County, Mo. Several days later, he developed a black spot on his coccyx. The black spot turned out to be a Stage IV pressure sore, which required surgery and removal of his coccyx, low back, buttocks and anus. As a result, he required dressing changes and plastic surgery over the next year.

Dieser filed a lawsuit against the hospital claiming that it chose not to prevent and properly treat the pressure sore. He alleged that the hospital staff should have timely turned him and provided adequate nutrition, among other things.

The lawsuit did not allege lost time from work. After the jury deliberated, it entered a verdict of $883,000.

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