A Lynchburg, Virginia nursing home permitted its elderly female patient to fall and sustain a skin tear to her right leg. The skin tear deteriorated into a severe pressure ulcer (bed sore, pressure sore, decubitus ulcer). Within two months after the skin tear, the wound was observed to be necrotic with yellow slough. The wound bed was noted to have eschar, and the wound was extremely painful. One month later, the tendons in the patient’s leg were visible through the ulcer. The nursing home failed to send the patient to a wound center for evaluation and treatment. Two weeks later, a mere three months after the fall and skin tear, the patient’s wound was documented to be a stage IV ulcer with erosion of skin, muscle, and flesh down to the tendons of the patient’s leg. Based on the size and depth of the ulcer, the patient required an above-the-knee amputation. The patient died six months after the fall. The patient’s family sued the nursing home for failing to take timely pressure ulcer prevention measures. The nursing home settled the case for a confidential amount in the mid-six figures.
Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia.