August 2011 Archives

Maryland COMAR Regulation 10.07.02.12 sets forth the responsibilities of the Director of Nursing in Maryland nursing homes.  Pursuant to Maryland COMAR Regulation 10.07.02.12G, the Director of Nursing is responsible for, among other duties, "planning for the total nursing needs of patients to be met" and "execution of patient care policies."  This section may ultimately support a cause of action against the Director of Nursing in a nursing home negligence case involving bedsores (also known as decubitus ulcers or pressure ulcers). 

Under Maryland's nursing home regulations, nursing homes are required to file a signed copy of the agreement between the Nursing Home Administrator and the Director of Nursing that, among other things, specifies the duties of the Director of Nursing.  This information can be obtained from the State via public information request and we routinely obtain this information in our cases.

Most qualified medical experts would agree that the standard of care applicable to nursing homes requires the nursing home staff to ensure that a resident entering the facility without pressure ulcers does not develop them unless the resident's clinical condition demonstrates that they were medically unavoidable.  The nursing home staff must also ensure that a resident having pressure ulcers receives necessary and proper wound care treatment and services to promote healing, prevent infection and prevent new ulcers from developing.  The nursing home staff must relieve pressure by turning and repositioning the resident at least every two hours while in bed and every hour while in a Geri-chair or wheelchair, maintain adequate nutrition and hydration, and prevent contractures of the extremities.

Unfortunately, once a bedsore has progressed to stage 3 and stage 4, it can be difficult to achieve healing and avoid painful and life-threatening complications such as osteomyelitis (infection of the bone) and sepsis (blood infection). 

Please feel free to contact the nursing home neglect lawyers at Dever & Feldstein, LLC at (888) 825-9119 for a free consultation if you believe that a family member or loved one has sustained serious injury or wrongful death as a result of bed sores (also known as pressure sores or decubitus ulcers), nursing home falls, dehydration/malnutrition, medication error/prescription mistake, elder abuse or elder neglect.

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