Louisiana Home Health Agency Faces Elder Abuse Lawsuit for Leaving Gauze in Bed Sores
A home health agency in Louisiana is being sued for elder abuse by a patient whose bed sores were treated with gauze. While the use of gauze may have been appropriate, the gauze was left in the wound causing such serious damage and infection that the bed sores required surgery.
Plaintiff Quinsonna Lucas alleges that she was a patient of Ameracare Home Health and Hospice in December 2013, and trusted her health, including treatment of bed sores, to the agency. Although bed sores do form easily when a patient is inactive, nurses and nursing assistants are trained to move the patient when the patient is bedridden, and clean and dress any bed sores which form to prevent them from becoming worse. Lucas alleges that, while under the care and treatment of Ameracare, her bed sores became worse and were infected, because the nursing staff failed to properly care for her wounds.
As a result of the worsening bed sores and infection, Lucas was hospitalized. She had to undergo surgery to help the bed sores heal, and one surgeon reported that a piece of gauze was found in her wound from when Ameracare nursing staff failed to change her bandages in a timely fashion.
Lucas is suing the home health agency for medical malpractice.
Bed Sores as a Sign of Elder Abuse
Whether your loved one is in a skilled nursing facility or receiving nursing care in his/her home, it is important that the nurses and nursing assistants know how to treat bed sores. Bed sores, also called pressure sores, develop in patients with limited or no mobility on a regular basis. In the early stages, a bed sore should be handled with care, kept clean and dry, and the patient should be moved routinely to prevent the patient from becoming worse or getting infected.
However, it is all too common for an elderly patient to suffer from an untreated bed sore, which can become infected and spread, and then require hospitalization. If the wound becomes deep enough to reveal bone, the elderly patient may require surgery.
An untreated bed sore is a common sign of elder abuse or neglect, whether from a nursing home, in-home caregiver, or an unscrupulous relative.
If you discover your loved one is suffering from an untreated bed sore when they should be receiving some type of nursing care, you may have an elder abuse case.
The Strom Law Firm Defends Victims of Elder Abuse
If your elderly loved one has developed pressure or bed sores, unexplained bruises, broken bones, body odor, fear of visitors, reluctance to speak during visits, malnutrition, or dehydration, then they may be a victim of elder abuse. You and your loved one do not have to suffer in silence. The elder abuse attorneys at the Strom Law Firm understand your pain and suffering, and offer free, confidential consultations so you can discuss a potential civil lawsuit against the nursing home or caregiving agency involved. Contact us today. 803.252.4800