Resident’s Bedsores Related to Understaffing

St Francis According to an article in the Inquirer by Harold Brubaker, the St. Francis Center for Rehabilitation & Healthcare in Darby, PA is accused of cutting staff in order to turn a profit resulting in one resident suffering from severe bedsores and infections that resulted in her death.

The article reports that Lois Coleman came to St. Francis Center after a hip replacement surgery in 2014 and died in 2017 from severe infections from bedsores. According to the article, Coleman’s family noticed a significant change in staffing at the nursing home. Her daughter, Shirley Burch, spoke with reporters at the Inquirer and they report that:

“She went in there for rehab, and she never came out,” said Coleman’s daughter Shirley Burch, who, on her visits from Los Angeles, noticed dramatic declines in staffing levels at St. Francis.

The article in the Inquirer states that:

In a lawsuit filed last month, Burch said that a doctor ordered staff to change Coleman’s position every two hours on all shifts, but that did not happen, and the resulting bed sores pushed all the way through to the bone over the next two weeks.

Lawsuit Filed Against Nursing Home

According to the article, Charles-Edouard Gros bought the St. Francis Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare along with four other nursing homes from the Archdiocese.

The article reports that:

St. Francis Center for Rehabilitation & Healthcare went from roughly break-even in the two full years before Gros bought it to being the second-most profitable nursing home in the Philadelphia region last year.

Then, its quality of care tanked. Last September, inspectors found rampant neglect at the Darby facility and revoked its license, a step taken only in extreme cases.

Gros’ homes comprised four of the region’s five most profitable nursing homes, achieved by cutting staff and taking on sicker patients, an Inquirer analysis found. At the same time, regulators cited the former archdiocesan facilities 14 times for actual harm to residents, six at St. Francis, since Gros bought them, compared with once in the three previous years, federal records show.

While profits were surging, St. Francis patients were suffering from what a state official in January called “extreme” conditions, including a lack of proper wound treatment and nursing care. Four St. Francis residents died about the time of the inspection that led the Pennsylvania Department of Health on Sept. 1 to revoke St. Francis’ license, state officials have said. The home currently has a provisional license and remains open.

Sadly, this is an all too familiar story. Often times, nursing home neglect is directly related to the levels of staff available to care for the residents. You can visit our informational page here on understaffing.

Bedsores and Pressure Ulcers

Without the proper staffing and proper training, it would be impossible to treat bedsores or pressure ulcers. The most important part of treating pressure ulcers—besides preventing them—is to recognize them quickly and provide consistent care to keep them from becoming worse. Again, without enough staff to care for residents this task is impossible. We’ve seen too many cases where a nursing home drops the ball in follow-up care, meaning wounds get worse, or even infected.

Care starts with alleviating the underlying cause, using creams or gels, and pressure-relieving devices to prevent additional sores.  More serious wounds require wound dressings / bandages, advanced wound care, special padding or mattresses, or surgery.

If you believe that your loved one was neglected and the end result was severe injury or death because of bedsores or pressure ulcers, please contact me. I can help you navigate through the complicated process of determining the liability of the nursing home. You can comment below or contact me here using a confidential form. I am here to help.

You can read the full article mentioned above here.

The reporter, Harold Brubaker, is a staff reporter for the Inquirer. He writes about the business side of healthcare. He can be reached at this email address:


Do you have questions about a possible abuse, neglect, stroke, or heart attack case? Contact us now using this confidential form. Or leave a comment below--but remember the comments are public, not confidential.

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