The Canadian Press article on CTV News Atlantic reports that a government report has uncovered that over 150 nursing home residents in Nova Scotia are suffering from categorically the most severe pressure sores or bed sores. Although we handle cases in Ohio, it is important to remember that bed sore prevention is a a huge issue. Nursing homes, no matter where they are located, have a duty to provide residents with care that keeps them healthy and safe.
The Canadian Press article report that:
The government says the province’s long-term care homes were ordered last week to report bedsores, and “that reporting identified 152 stage three and four (most severe) pressure injuries.” It says wound care experts will be sent in to address these injuries, and all other bedsores.
It also reports that the Nova Scotia Nurses’ Union has gotten involved as well. The article states that
The union is calling for “staffing standards that will better guarantee the health and well being of long-term care residents,” and penalties for homes that fail to comply with those standards. Union president Janet Hazelton says staff are attempting to care properly for residents, but there’s a lack of licensed personnel who can care for patients who need higher amounts of care.
Sadly, this is a problem that is being faced by many nursing homes. Often times though, understaffing occurs when large corporations that own nursing homes are attempting to cut costs. You can read more about the dangers of understaffing here.
Resident’s Death Sparks Investigation
The article reports that the investigation into bed sores in Nova Scotia’s nursing homes was sparked by the death of a nursing home resident. According to the article, the Halifax police are also involved.
Halifax police announced last week they are investigating the death of Chrissy Dunnington for possible criminal negligence after her family raised concerns about her care at the Parkstone Enhanced Care facility in Halifax. The family has said she was transported to hospital with an infected bedsore on Jan. 28 and died in hospital about eight weeks later on March 22.
Pressure to the skin can interrupt blood flow, which over time causes skin to become starved of nutrients and oxygen. Skin that does not receive enough blood flow will begin to break down. Pressure injuries form either when the skin is under a lot of pressure for a short period of time, or when it is under a moderate amount of pressure for a long time.
These are known as bedsores, pressure ulcers (when open), pressure injuries, and decubitous ulcers (an outdated medical term still in use). Bedsores are more likely to occur over areas of the body with less body fat or muscle between skin and bone, such as at the spine, tailbone, shoulder blades, hips, heels and elbows.
Do Bedsores Mean the Nursing Home was Negligent?
Bedsores might be a sign of neglect, and neglect can affect residents in other ways, too—dehydration, malnutrition, falls from lack of monitoring, even infections caused by inadequate dressing changes or unsanitary conditions.
Nursing home neglect contributing to bed sores can include:
- Bedbound or wheelchair bound (immobile) residents to remain in the same position for too long
- Failing to provide proper nutrition or fluids, which can make residents extremely vulnerable to skin breakdown, infections, sepsis, and death
- Allowing residents to have moist skin for too long, from not changing soiled adult diapers or wet bed sheets.
- Failing to check residents regularly skin problems
- Failing to notify the family and physician upon development of sores so that proper treatment may be rendered
Nursing homes are also required by federal and Ohio regulations and laws to notify designated representatives—and doctors—of significant changes in condition. Nursing home bedsore lawyers should know these regulations inside and out. This is not just another “personal injury” case.
If you believe that your loved one has been the victim of negligence on the part of their care facility, please comment below or contact me here through my confidential form. I will investigate your case and help you determine whether or not the nursing home was responsible for your loved one’s injury or sadly, their death.
You can read the full article here.