Nursing Home Bed Sore Death Lawsuit in Prince George's County

Smith v. Bradford Oaks Center

nursinghomeerrors This nursing home negligence lawsuit was filed by the estate of a woman in Prince George's County after she developed multiple stage IV wounds and passed away shortly after. It was filed in Health Claims Arbitration on April 26, 2017 and it is the 195th medical malpractice case filed in Maryland this year.

Summary of Plaintiff's Allegations

An 89 year-old woman is admitted to Bradford Oaks Center from Southern Maryland Hospital Center after suffering an acute stroke. Southern Maryland Hospital Center notes that the patient is at a high risk for development of pressure ulcers. The woman develops a full-thickness pressure ulcer on the right buttock after not being repositioned every two hours as required. After several days, the ulcer turns into a necrotic, stage 4, open area on the right buttock.

Over the course of several weeks, the patient develops multiple ulcers on the left and right buttocks. An assessment and care plan is developed by the Bradford Oaks Center's staff. The staff continues to note additional ulcers. After a month, the patient has an episode of vomiting and is finally seen by a physician for the first time since her admission. The ulcers continue to worsen until the patient is transported to Southern Maryland Hospital Center due to unresponsiveness and congestion.

During the hospital stay, the patient is diagnosed with a urinary tract infection and septic shock. After a week in the hospital, the patient returns to Bradford Oaks Center with multiple wounds to her sacrum, left leg, left foot, right heel, left ankle, left lower buttocks and right knee. Three weeks later, the patient becomes non-responsive and passes away.

Her family brings this wrongful death and survival claim against Bradford Oaks Center claiming that it was negligent in their care and treatment of the decedent in allowing a decubitus ulcer to form resulting in subsequent systemic infection and death.

Additional Comments
  • Our law firm takes a closer look at Bradford Oaks. The nutshell? It has a one star overall rating from Medicare. Awful mistakes happen at good nursing homes. But, more often than not, it is the worst nursing homes that are causing the lion's share of errors and omission that lead to nursing home lawsuits.
  • A bed sore, also known as "pressure sore" and "decubitus ulcer," is an area of cellular necrosis, which is an endemic problem in immobile patient populations. Several subpopulations are at higher risk, including elderly patients and stroke victims like the decedent in this case. Bed sores like the one the victim had usually occur over bony prominences and are graded or staged to classify the extent of tissue damage. This was a Stage IV bed sore which is characterized by full thickness skin loss with extensive destruction, tissue necrosis or damage to bone, muscle, or supporting structures
  • The nursing home is going to argue that the decedent was at high risk for bed sores and her bedsore was unavoidable. It is rare when acts or, more likely, omissions by the nursing home does not cause the victim's decubitus ulcers to develop or worsen, often leading to an infection as it did in this case. But it can happen. You can bet Bradford will paint a bed sore that accelerated very quickly.
  • The Complaint says that the victim should have been repositioned every two hours. It is not clear whether this is the plaintiff's expert's opinion or this was the order in the medical records. If it is the latter, that would bode very well for plaintiff's case.
Jurisdiction
  • Prince George's County
Defendants
  • Bradford Oaks Center
Hospitals Where Patient was Treated
  • Southern Maryland Hospital
Negligence
  • Failing to timely and properly recognize patient's risk concerning ulcers
  • Failing to timely, properly, and consistently render incontinence care
  • Failing to abide by the Federal Regulations of licensed skilled nursing facilities accepting Medicare and Medicaid
  • Failing to abide by the Maryland Regulations regarding Comprehensive Care Facilities
  • Failing to hire competent operators, administrators, employees, agents, and staff
  • Failing to provide for patient's health and safety
Specific Counts Pled
  • Survival Claim
  • Wrongful Death Claim (four beneficiaries)
Plaintiff's Experts and Areas of Specialty
  • Jacob Dimant, M.D. - board certified in Internal medicine with subspecialty in rheumatology and geriatric medicine
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