My loved one died after developing bedsores. Do I have claim?



If your loved one died after developing bedsores at a nursing home, then you may have a claim for wrongful death against that nursing home.

Deaths arising from bedsores are common and occur by the thousands every day. The Department of Health and Human services reports that the mortality rate for pressure ulcer hospitalization, that is, where the pressure ulcer is the primary reason for admission, is one in twenty-five. Where a pressure ulcer was a secondary diagnosis, the death rate was 1 in 8.

Although statistics show that death from bedsore complications is common, this does not excuse a nursing home facility or prevent a lawsuit. Under Georgia law, a nursing home must assess each resident’s bedsore risk, implement preventative measures, then periodically revisit those measures. As you can imagine, this means that most bedsores are completely avoidable. To put it in perspective, the Center for Medicare Services no longer reimburses hospitals for treatment of new pressure sores in Medicare patients because is so easily avoided. 

Still, just because a nursing home resident died after developing bedsores does not mean that there is a wrongful death claim. To win a case against the nursing home in that instance, you must prove that the bedsores proximately caused your loved one’s death. This is called, among other things, “causation” or “proving causation.” Proving causation can be the most difficult component to a case. The defendant nursing home will attempt to blame the death on everything but the bedsore, particularly where the resident was of advanced age or had co-morbidities.

Most wrongful death claims involving bedsores in Georgia require testimony from an expert witness connecting the injury to the death. Expert witnesses are often medical doctors with specializations in geriatrics, pathology, wound care, hospice care, or nursing home care. Experts will review medical records, nursing home records, photographs, death certificates, and other testimony in order to come to a conclusion.

If your loved died after developing pressure ulcers at a nursing home and you are wondering if you have a claim, then please, feel free to call and speak to one of our experienced Georgia nursing home neglect lawyers today. Our consultations are always free. If you would like more information about this topic, be sure to click on our other videos, or better yet, click the subscribe button to subscribe to our YouTube channel. Thank you.