Ms. G was admitted to Heartland Nursing Home in Bloomfield, Michigan for rehabilitation after she broke her sacrum, which is the bone at the bottom of the spine. Before she was admitted to the nursing home, Ms. G was living at home on her own. The plan was for Ms. G to return to her home after her physical therapy was completed.
Ms. G did not have any bed sores when she came to the nursing home. However, the nursing staff was supposed to do weekly skin checks for Ms. G to make sure she did not develop any bed sores. Unfortunately, the nursing home never did these skin checks.
After being a resident at Heartland for four days, a care plan for alteration of skin integrity was created for Ms. G, and the nursing staff was instructed to administer preventative treatments. These treatments included, but were not limited to: apply barrier cream to vulnerable area as needed, perform frequent position changes, check for incontinence and perform care as needed, review lab results and report abnormalities, and notify physician and significant other of any changes in skin integrity. The next day, Ms. G began to complain of pain “on her bottom.” An X-Ray was ordered after Ms. G complained of pain in her left hip. The X-Ray was negative for fracture. Eight days after being admitted to the nursing home, nurses noted for the first time that Ms. G had a “large open area.” The bedsore continued to increase in size and became infected. Ms. G was also noted to have lost 20 pounds over a 4 month period, was at a high risk for impaired nutrition, and her alertness and orientation were decreased.
Three weeks after being admitted to Heartland, Ms. G was transferred to the hospital with a now very large and infected bedsore. The physician who treated Ms. G that day specifically noted that the bedsore area appeared to be very painful. Ms. G was diagnosed with a Stage IV bedsore, a bone infection, malnutrition, and a healing fracture of her right pubic body. Ms. G was treated, discharged and transferred to another hospital where it was noted that she had a Stage IV bedsore that was infected. She underwent surgical debridement (medical removal of dead, damaged, or infected tissue). Ms. G was given a poor prognosis and subsequently passed away on December 9, 2011. The cause of death was severe sepsis (a potentially fatal whole-body inflammation caused by infection), sacral osteomyelitis (bone infection), congestive heart failure, and an infected Stage IV sacral bedsore.
Olsman, Mueller, Wallace & MacKenzie has filed suit on behalf of Ms. G.