Heel Bed Sore Lawsuit Against Good Samaritan Nursing Center in Baltimore

Renner v. Good Samaritan Nursing Center

(January 12, 2016)

Jurisdiction
  • Baltimore City
Defendants
  • Good Samaritan Nursing Center, Inc.
Hospitals
  • Good Samaritan Hospital
Summary Of Plaintiff's Allegations

This claim is a bedsore case. A Baltimore man is admitted to Good Samaritan Nursing Center with bronchitis, asthma, and generalized weakness. At the time of his admission to Good Samaritan Nursing Center, the man does not have any pressure sores or skin breakdowns.

He remains a patient of Good Samaritan Nursing Center for more than three weeks, during which time he develops bilateral heel ulcers. The ulcers become infected and require medical intervention. The man is subsequently discharged to Heart Homes of Lutherville, an assisted living facility, where he remains until his untimely death approximately nine months later.

His family files a negligence lawsuit in Baltimore City, alleging that Good Samaritan Nursing Center violated the standard of care in failing to identify that the man was at risk for a skin breakdown and in failing to provide him with the appropriate medical care to prevent his injuries. They also allege that they failed to provide offloading of the man's heels to ensure they were not exposed to prolonged and excess pressure, which resulted in the worsening of the wound. This made his final days painful and forced him to leave his home and go to an assisted living facility.

As a result of Good Samaritan Nursing Center's negligence, the man was forced to incur substantial expenses in medical care, undergo painful surgeries, and spend the remainder of his life in an assisted living facility rather than in his private home.

Negligence
  • Failed to identify that the patient was at risk for a skin breakdown
  • Failed to provide appropriate medical care to prevent injuries
Specific Counts Pled
  1. Negligence
Plaintiff's Experts And Areas Of Specialty
  • Frances E. Schuda: Pennsylvania-based registered nurse who is a licensed nursing home administrator, and a certified wound, ostomy, and incontinence nurse.
Additional Comments
  • This is not a wrongful death case because there is no allegation that the bed sore on this man's heel caused his death. Instead, his Estate (he had three children) is claiming damages for the nine months of suffering before his death that he allegedly would not have gone through if Good Samaritan Nursing Center identified his risk for bed sores and provided treatment consistent with what the standard of care requires. Assuming negligence, there is a real evaluation of injuries question. On the one hand, it is nine months of suffering before the man's last days on Earth. But the jury cannot compensate the man for the suffering; they are compensating his children. An Eastern Shore jury might think $200,000 is a lot of money for nine months of suffering when you are not compensating the person who absorbed the suffering. Thankfully, for the family, the case is in Baltimore City where juries are likely to give the victim the benefit of the doubt against a nursing home and give a meaningful award, particularly if the evidence of substandard care is strong.
  • What should the nursing home do with a bed sore on the patient's heel? The most important thing is to catch it early. Redness on the heel is an indicator of a Stage I bed sore. If a bed sore is diagnosed or suspected, the nursing home should use a heel suspension device to elevate and offload the heel. This will distribute the leg's weight evenly throughout the calf without putting inordinate pressure on the Achilles' tendon. Offloading and repositioning is almost invariably going to solve the problem before it gets out of control.
  • Usually, the problem is the nursing home is not doing anything to solve the heel ulcer until it is too late. But some nursing home lawsuits stem from negligence in treating the bed sore. The standard of care often requires a Prevalon boot or other boot specially designed to minimize pressure, shear, and friction by offloading the heel. The idea is to keep the elevated foot off the mattress for what is often a bedridden patient. What you cannot do is grab any rehabilitation type boot you can find and put it on the patient because it may do more harm than good.
Getting a Bed Sore Attorney to Fight For You

Elder in HospitalToo many people in Maryland are needlessly harmed in nursing homes. Our law firm has a history of getting large verdicts and settlements in these types of cases for our clients. Get the justice and compensation you deserve. Call us today at 800-553-8082 or get a free online case review.

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