Defense Verdict in Pressure Ulcer Case in Ohio
A Butler Co., Ohio jury returned a defense verdict on October 15, 2010 in favor of a nursing home. This suit involved an 86 year old female who had fallen at home and sustained a hip fracture. It was surgically repaired before she was admitted to the nursing home for rehabilitation. By the time she was admitted, she had a Stage II sacral ulcer. The hospital records made no reference to the ulcer other than a reference to redness of the buttocks a few days before. The nursing home instituted standard interventions of weekly skin checks, pressure relieving mattress, every two hours turning and repositioning and routine toileting, among others. The nursing home obtained an order for treatment for the wound, which was changed twice during the resident’s admission. The dietician saw the resident and monitored her dietary status. Despite this care, the wound progressed to a Stage III ulcer and became infected. At the family’s request, the resident was transferred to a rehabilitation hospital. Despite aggressive wound care, the ulcer did not heal. The resident’s cognitive status continued to decline. The resident was diagnosed with cachexia and transferred to hospice where she died three weeks later. The family claimed the facility failed to adequately assess, treat and monitor her sacral decubitus ulcer despite the charting indicating otherwise. The jury took five hours to return a defense verdict. Plaintiff did not appeal.