DATELINE HUNTINGTON, NY "Mary, I've got to tell you. It was a scary, big sore. I had no idea."
Susan was speaking with her best friend Mary after visiting her mother in the ER. Her mother had just been admitted. For the past six weeks, she had been a resident of Island Comforts Nursing Home.
Island Comforts is where Teresa Abbiati had told the family she always planned to go -- when the time came. Her late sister had been there. Island Comforts had a lovely rose garden, just like the one that Teresa had nurtured for years in her own Huntington garden.
So discovering a massive bedsore on her mother shocked Susan -- to say the least. There was something very wrong going on at Island Comforts.
"To start with," Susan explained, "the staff was supposed to be turning and repositioning Mom every two hours. That was part of the plan for her care."
"Well, I never saw anyone doing that on the weekends. And when I visited there a couple weeks ago, Mom was complaining about a sore on her hip. The staff told me not to worry, that it was due to arthritis, which made sense at the time.
"Plus, Mom always seem to be covered in blankets. And now that I think of it, the staff wouldn't let us stay in the room while she was being changed.
"When the hospital admitted her with an infected bedsore, they asked me, 'Did you know about this?' -- I felt terrible."
"You shouldn't blame yourself," Mary offered.
Susan responded immediately. "Well, I'm going to do something now. Nobody in that facility should have to go through this."
ANALYSISWhat happened to Susan’s Mom in a nursing home is not uncommon. Nursing home abuse often manifests itself in injuries such as bed sores or pressure ulcers that can ultimately be traced to negligent nursing home care. The causes of these bedsores or pressure ulcers require investigation, a study of medical records, and plenty of question-asking. A nursing home should be a safe place for patients, but sadly patients suffer bedsores or pressure ulcers due to negligent nursing home care.
How will you know whether your loved one’s bedsore or pressure ulcer was caused by negligent nursing home care? Often the first indication comes from indications of pain or discomfort coming from your loved one. An unexpected visit to the emergency room is also cause to suspect negligent nursing home care. Ask questions. What caused the bedsore? When did it start?
When did the nursing home staff discover the bedsore?Susan’s Mom was likely at risk for skin breakdown such as bedsores or pressure ulcers. The nursing home staff was required to turn and reposition her body to reduce pressure so that bedsores or pressure ulcers do not develop and /or worsen.
The failure of the nursing home staff to prevent a bedsore or pressure ulcer likely occurred because the nursing home was not monitoring her properly due to inadequate and short staffing.
This type of negligent nursing home care violates a nursing home resident’s rights.