Pressure ulcers are a common concern in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. Also known as pressure ulcers, these sores are caused by being in one position for too long and having the constant pressure of a bed or a chair pressed against the flesh. Bed sores are often rated on a scale of 1st Stage to 4th Stage. 1st stage sores are the mildest and only affects the uppermost layer of the skin. Stage 4 pressure sores are the most serious, with the sore being deep enough to affect muscle tissues. Beginning at stage 2, pressure ulcers can become infected, which can be serious in seniors. The East Bay Times reports on a lawsuit alleging that neglect at an Alameda facility led to a resident’s death.
A lawsuit alleges that an unreported fall and untreated bedsores led to the death of 61-year-old Cathy Campbell.
Campbell was a resident at Alameda Healthcare & Wellness Center. She suffered from hypertension and chronic kidney failure and required round the clock care, including assistance with hygiene.
Campbell was admitted to the facility in May of 2017 after undergoing triple bypass heart surgery.
According to the lawsuit, Campbell fell from her wheelchair on May 9th, and staff at the facility covered up the fall, which was not reported to her primary care physician. A pressure sore developed on Campbell’s tailbone, which the facility also did not treat, nor did they report to her physician, though they documented the worsening of the bed sore to stage three.
The bedsore ultimately became septic, and Campbell was transferred to Alameda County Hospital. She was then transferred to Oakland’s Windsor Healthcare and then to Highland Hospital, where she eventually succumbed to her condition.
There is currently no trial date set, but the case will be heard in the Central District of Los Angeles County court.