News & Events
Cheltenham Care Home Warned Over Poor Care for Pressure Sore Victim
- Posted by: curtislegalwp
- Category: pressure sores
A care home in Cheltenham has been in the news once again over its lack of care regarding pressure sores. In October 2015 it was told to improve its level of service after an elderly man died after a bedsore he had had become septic. Now, a second resident has died in similar circumstances.
Elderly man suffered from preventable pressure sore
An 86 year old Gentleman moved into the Pilley Lane Grange Care Centre in Cheltenham in July of 2015. At the time, he was suffering from a sacral pressure ulcer. This never healed but instead became badly infected and along with his high blood pressure the combination caused him to lose his life in March 2016.
Record keeping by care home insufficient
Dr Simon Fox QC, assistant Gloucestershire Coroner, in a recent ruling, found that the care home could produce no evidence that the patient had been turned from one position to another to prevent the sore from becoming worse. A person in his condition should be periodically moved every 3 to 4 hours over a 24 hour period, 7 days a week. There were no records available to indicate that this procedure had been followed.
Little done to treat pressure sore correctly
One of the care assistants working at the facility said he had noticed that the pressure sore did not look good in January last year. He had passed on his concerns to nurses and eventually to the manager. It seems that cream applied to the pressure sore was not helping the condition. The client was not the most co-operative of patients, apparently, but this should not have prevented appropriate monitoring of his health and providing the necessary treatment.
Too late for pressure sore’s victim
It seems that at the beginning of February, the sore had been assessed as a Grade 2 sore as the skin was broken. More time should have been spent re-positioning the client regularly. This meant that every 3 to 4 hours he should have been re-positioned in order to prevent further harm to him. Even though his condition had been documented, there was no clear programme in place for care workers to follow concerning re-positioning at specific intervals.
Eventually, when his condition further deteriorated, paramedics were called in. They said they thought that he was suffering from sepsis and admitted him to hospital. At this stage his condition was very serious. Not only were his temperature and blood pressure too high, but his face and arm had also turned purple.
Coroner to issue report
The coroner summed up by stating that he had lost his life due to natural causes which were pinned down to be a combination of sepsis from a sacral pressure sore that had become infected and hypertensive cardiac failure. However, despite this verdict, the coroner said he would issue a report with regard to this event. He believed that inadequate records were kept in relation to how the re-positioning had been conducted as the recommendations were to turn him from one position to another every 3 hours. There should have been turning charts present, but it seems that only random entries had been recorded on a document that failed to show that he had received the consistent treatment required to alleviate the effect of pressure sores.
Legal action may be possible in these circumstances
When it gets to the point that a coroner believes that a death could have been prevented, the victim’s family may have the right to file a claim against the home that may have been responsible for their relative’s death. A care home is required to provide adequate care for elderly people who live out their last remaining months or years in the establishment. This means following set protocols to ensure the elderly person is not subject to painful pressure sores. If the person is not treated appropriately and as a result dies, the relatives may have a good case for being compensated for their loss.