Bed Sores Allegedly Lead to Woman’s Death in Maryland Nursing Home Case

A bed sore, sometimes called a pressure sore or a pressure ulcer, refers to a sore that is developed due to pressure caused by lying in bed in one position. These sores are an injury to the skin and underlying tissue. They can range from mild reddening of the skin to severe tissue damage, sometimes causing an infection that can extend into muscle and bone.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 159,000 United States nursing home residents (11 percent) had bed sores in 2004. Residents aged 64 years and under were more likely than older residents to develop these types of ulcers. In addition, residents of nursing homes for a year or less were more likely to have these sores than individuals who stayed at nursing homes longer.

In Hall v. Genesis Healthcare, LLC, a woman developed bed sores on her body and ultimately died. Her two surviving sons filed a wrongful death claim against the defendant health care facility. Specifically, the complaint alleged that the health care facility violated the standard of care by:  i) failing to appropriately evaluate the woman’s condition; ii) failing to plan, apply, and regularly evaluate and modify a suitable care plan for the woman; iii) failing to deliver essential care and services to make sure that the woman’s physical, mental, and psychosocial health was maintained; iv) failing to make sure that the woman did not develop bed sores unless they were clinically inevitable; and iv) failing to administer necessary treatment and services to promote healing of existing wounds, stop infections, and prevent new sores from developing.

The outcome of this case is yet to be decided. However, if the plaintiffs establish the elements of a wrongful death claim, they will be able to recover damages. Maryland law is very specific about who can file a wrongful death claim. These claims are brought on behalf of the surviving family members and are designed to compensate for the losses suffered in connection with their loved one’s untimely death, such as funeral costs, medical expenses prior to the decedent’s death, lost income, loss of companionship, loss of support, and more.

To prevail in a wrongful death claim, the family must prove that medical professionals failed to act in a manner consistent with how reasonably prudent medical professionals in the same specialty would have acted under the same circumstances. Furthermore, it must be shown that the medical professional’s conduct was a direct cause of the decedent’s death.  It is important to note that each wrongful death claim will depend heavily on the facts of that specific case.

If you or someone close to you has been injured or died as a result of a medical professional’s recklessness, we can help. At Arfaa Law Group, our Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys have years of experience and have helped many clients obtain the compensation they deserve for their harm. Medical malpractices cases can be complex, and it is important to work with a lawyer who can meticulously examine all the facts. We represent clients from communities across Maryland. To learn more, feel free to call us at 410-889-1850 or contact us online.

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