$263.678K Recovered For Victim Of Pressure Sores In Ulster County

Hospital Malpractice

A 75 year old hospital patient recovered $263,678 for three months of suffering from Stage Four pressure sores on her sacrum over the course of three months in a Ulster County hospital and nursing home.

The 75 year old was admitted to the Ulster County hospital for an elective hip replacement operation. A one-week hospital admission and a two week stint in a rehabilitation facility was planned. On day seven of the hospital admission, a stage four pressure sore was discovered on the patient’s sacrum (the area just above the buttocks). The stage four pressure sore was treated with multiple surgical debridements (surgical removal of the dead tissue surrounding the pressure sore), but nothing worked.

The unfortunate part of the lawsuit was that pressure sore was totally preventable. The Ulster County hospital did not turn and position the patient for three days, as the hospital protocol required for patients classified as high risk for pressure sores. Making matters worse, the hospital nursing staff did not conduct skin inspections to assess the patient’s skin in the area of her sacrum and as a result, the staff did not discover the pressure sore until it had progressed deep below the patient’s epidermis (uppermost level of skin). After three months of hospital and rehabilitation treatment, the decedent died at home.

As a condition of the settlement, the decedent’s surviving daughter insisted that the malpractice liability insurers provide funding for a nursing scholarship for graduates of the nursing program at BOCES in Ulster County as a living testament to her mother. The nursing scholarship will help nursing graduates learn from the neglect and oversight of the Ulster County hospital and rehabilitation facility.

Kudos to the patient’s family for insisting upon the nursing scholarship that will help others learn from mistakes of the hospital and rehabilitation facility.