Gregory Abrams Davidson Solicitors recovered damages for injuries arising as a result of a failure by a nursing home to provide adequate care and assistance leading to the development of pressure sores which accelerated the deceased’s death.
Facts of Case
The deceased was elderly man, who was doubly incontinent and required full support from either one or two nursing staff in this regard. He also required continence products to maintain his dignity. The deceased’s skin integrity was managed by nursing staff with use of Cavilon spray to act as a barrier. This enabled him to maintain good skin integrity and he had no breaks in his skin prior to the Defendant taking over his care.
After a month under the care of Old Vicarage Nursing & Residential Care Centre, the Defendant, the deceased was admitted to Warrington General Hospital.
A Tissue Viability Nurse referral was completed on admission to Warrington General Hospital, as well as an incident form due to pressure sores around the buttock and groin area. On examination by a Tissue Viability specialist, it was noted that the deceased had been incontinent of loose faeces. A urinary catheter was also noted to be in situ. Extensive areas of purple discolouration were observed indicating suspected deep tissue injury (grade 3 or 4 pressure ulcers). This pressure damage was summarised as “Areas to buttocks sacrum, groins, scrotum, upper back and neck all appear deep tissue injuries and are likely to evolve to grade 3 or 4 pressure ulcers.” A safe guarding referral was therefore made.
The working diagnosis was sepsis secondary to pneumonia, acute kidney injury, advanced dementia, frailty and poor functional reserve. Chest x-rays conducted revealed bilateral basal consolidation. The plan was to continue active management over the next 24-48 hours, with continued IV antibiotics and fluids due to infection and an acute kidney injury. It was noted that it was unlikely that the deceased would survive this admission and if he deteriorated over the weekend, the management goal would be palliation with emphasis on comfort and dignity.
The deceased sadly passed away a month after being admitted to hospital. The inquest concluded that the deceased had been subject to inadequate pressure sore prevention treatment and the cause of death was confirmed as Confluent Bronchopneumonia.
We obtained independent medical evidence from a Consultant General Physician, wo confirmed that the Defendant’s Negligence had led to the development of grade 3/4 pressure sores and the development of grade 3/4 pressure sores accelerated the deceased’s death. A Letter of Claim was sent to the Defendant based upon the expert evidence and we negotiated a settlement on behalf of our client without the need to commence Court Proceedings.