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



If your loved one developed bedsores at nursing home or long term care facility and later passed away, then you may have a wrongful death claim against that facility.

Unfortunately, complications resulting from bedsores occur by the thousands every day. According to recent national studies, between 1 and 3 million people develop pressure ulcers each year. The Association for Healthcare Research and Quality, an agency within the Department of Health and Human services, reports that of the 503,300 pressure ulcer-related hospitalizations in 2006, 1 in 25 ended in death. Where a pressure ulcer was a secondary diagnosis, the death rate was 1 in 8.

Still, simply because the death rate is high among seniors with bedsores does not mean that there is no legal claim. Under Georgia law, a nursing home is required to not only assess each individual resident’s risk of bedsore, but to implement protective measures and continually evaluate those measures. Where they fail to do any one of these things, then they may be sued. This means that most bedsores are entirely preventable. In fact, CMS no longer reimburses hospitals for treatment of new pressure sores in Medicare patients. 

Still, to win a wrongful death case, you must prove that the bedsores proximately caused your loved one’s death. Proving causation can be the most difficult component to a case and requires retaining expert witnesses to link the injury to the death. For example, medical records may indicate the spread of bacteria from the wound site to the blood.

Of course, as you can guess, the defendant nursing home will attempt to blame the death on something other than the bedsore. Common excuses for the nursing home’s negligence include advanced age and co-morbidities.

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.