It is a sad fact of our elder care in the United States that deaths from bedsores are a common occurrence. A 2005 report indicated a 68.8% mortality for elderly patients with Stage 3 and 4 pressure ulcers. Even by itself, development of a pressure ulcer increases the mortality rate by 7.23%. When taking into account that, according to the CDC, between two percent and thirty percent of nursing home residents will develop a pressure ulcer at some point, it is no wonder that these wounds can be very grave.
Although pressure ulcers, and resulting deaths, may be common in nursing homes, this fact alone does not excuse a facility from legal liability. In fact, Georgia law requires that all nursing homes assess each resident for their specific risk of bedsores, implement preventative measures, and then evaluate those interventions periodically. If the nursing home follows these obligatory guidelines, bedsores are almost always preventable.
But, simply because a resident dies after developing pressure ulcers does not mean that there is a slam dunk wrongful death claim. To prevail in that circumstance requires that you prove that the pressure ulcers actually caused the death. Establishing causation can be the most challenging component of a wrongful death case involving pressure ulcers. The reason? Nursing home residents often have a host of life threatening ailments, on top of being at risk of passing by natural causes due to advanced age. In trial the nursing home will attempt to pin your loved one’s death on any cause other than their negligence.
In order to prove that the pressure ulcers actually or proximately caused your loved one’s death, your attorney will often use the testimony of an independent medical doctor. This doctor will provide expert witness testimony linking the injury with the passing. Most often, the doctor will have a specialization in wound care, hospice care, geriatrics, or nursing home care.
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.