Recently in Gangrene Category

Gangrene is a serious, life-threatening medical condition requiring immediate medical attention that occurs when body tissue dies as a result of inadequate blood supply depriving the tissue of oxygen.  The affected area may become black and/or green, and give off a foul odor.

Gangrene can be caused by diseases that affect blood vessels (especially arteries) such as peripheral vascular disease.  Patients at nursing homes may also develop gangrene as a result of infected bedsores (also known as pressure sores or decubitus ulcers) that form on their sacrum, buttocks, heels or other areas. 

Once gangrene develops, the tissue death cannot be reversed.  In the early stages, gangrene may be treatable with antibiotics and/or surgical intervention.  Without timely medical intervention the patient may require amputation of the affected area.  Unfortunately, the development of gangrene may ultimately result in the death of the nursing home resident.

Gangrene develops over time and may be avoidable in nursing home residents so long as proper monitoring, proper care and proper preventative measures are instituted and implemented by the nursing home staff.

A sample Maryland Circuit Court Wrongful Death/Survivorship Complaint involving claims of negligence relating to development of gangrene follows:


COMPLAINT

Plaintiffs, [insert names], by their undersigned attorneys, hereby file this Complaint against Defendants, [insert names] and in support thereof, state as follows:

PARTIES AND JURISDICTION

 1.   At all times material to this case, Plaintiffs have been citizens and residents of the State of Maryland.  Plaintiffs, [insert names], are wrongful death beneficiaries in this action pursuant to Section 3-904(a) of the Courts and Judicial Proceedings Article of the Maryland Annotated Code.

 2. [Insert name] is the duly-appointed Personal Representative of the Estate of [insert name of Plaintiff].  The Register of Wills for [insert name of County] issued Letters of Administration to [insert name] on [insert date]. The Estate of [insert name of Plaintiff] is bringing this survival action pursuant to Section 7-401(x) of the Estates and Trusts Article of the Maryland Annotated Code.
 3. At all times material to this case, [insert names of Defendants] have been corporations engaging in the practice of medicine and rehabilitation services in Baltimore City, Maryland, and acting through actual and/or apparent agents, servants and/or employees.
 4. The venue for this claim is proper in Baltimore City, Maryland.  The amount in controversy exceeds Thirty Thousand Dollars ($30,000.00).

FACTS COMMON TO ALL COUNTS

 5. At all times mentioned and relevant herein, [insert names of Defendants] have owned, managed and/or operated a nursing and rehabilitation center known as [insert name of nursing home] located at [insert address] and have held themselves and their agents, servants and employees out to the general public as experienced, competent and capable providers of medical and rehabilitation services, and in such capacity owed a duty to [insert name of Plaintiff] and the Plaintiffs to render that degree of medical care and skill which is ordinarily rendered by those who devote special study and attention to the practice of medicine and rehabilitation services.
6. At all times mentioned and relevant herein, all of the individuals at [insert name of nursing home] who participated in the care provided to [insert name of Plaintiff] were acting on behalf of and within the scope of their employment and/or agency with [insert names of Defendants]. 
 7. On or about [insert date], [insert name of Plaintiff] was admitted to [insert name of nursing home] for short-term rehabilitation following a hospitalization at [insert name of hospital].  [Insert name of Plaintiff]'s doctors planned for her to return home following a brief rehabilitation at the [insert name of nursing home]. 
 8. The [insert name of nursing home] nursing staff initiated a Care Plan for [insert name of Plaintiff] that addressed the potential for altered peripheral tissue perfusion secondary to peripheral vascular disease.  The Care Plan goal was for [insert name of Plaintiff] to avoid complications of peripheral vascular disease. 
 9. Over the next few weeks, the nursing staff at [insert name of nursing home] failed to follow and implement the Care Plan for [insert name of Plaintiff]. 
 10. The records indicate that the staff at [insert name of nursing home] was aware that [insert name of Plaintiff] was at risk for the development of pressure ulcers, but the staff failed to create an appropriate Care Plan addressing the wounds on her heels.  Although there was a physician's order to elevate both of her lower extremities while she was in bed, according to the Treatment Record there were multiple failures by the staff to carry out this order.  Additionally, as documented in the records, a pressure relieving device was not provided for [insert name of Plaintiff]'s bed.
 11. On [insert date], it was documented in the records that [Plaintiff]'s family had complained that the wounds on her feet had a foul odor and blood was noted by the nurse who had changed the heel dressings.  Despite this change in [Plaintiff]'s condition, there is no evidence that a physician was notified.  On [insert date], [Plaintiff]'s right leg appeared swollen and she complained of pain.  An arterial Doppler study of the right lower extremity conducted revealed occlusion of the proximal and mid-superficial femoral arteries.
 12. [Plaintiff] was transferred to [insert name of hospital].  It was noted in the hospital records that [Plaintiff] had not been feeling well for the last few days and that she was found unresponsive at the nursing home.  [Plaintiff] was ultimately diagnosed with extensive gangrene of the right leg and passed away on [insert date].  The cause of death was sepsis due to leg gangrene.

COUNT I (Professional Negligence)

 13. The Plaintiffs incorporate all of the allegations contained in the above paragraphs as if those allegations are set forth in this Count.
 14. Defendants, individually and through their actual and/or apparent agents, servants and/or employees, owed [insert name of Plaintiff] a duty to exercise reasonable care in their treatment of her.
 15. Defendants, individually and through their actual and/or apparent agents, servants and/or employees, breached the above-described duty of care to [insert name of Plaintiff], thereby deviating from the applicable standards of care, and were otherwise negligent, careless and reckless in that they, among other things:
a. failed to timely diagnose and treat [insert name of Plaintiff]'s medical conditions;
b. failed to properly monitor and evaluate [insert name of Plaintiff]'s skin integrity;
c. failed to properly monitor and evaluate [insert name of Plaintiff] for compromised blood flow to her extremities;
d. failed to alert physicians regarding the changes in [insert name of Plaintiff]'s skin and underlying tissues;
e. failed to monitor and evaluate [insert name of Plaintiff]'s peripheral pulses and capillary refill times;
f. failed to provide adequate pressure relief for [insert name of Plaintiff]'s lower extremities;
g. failed to properly implement and revise [insert name of Plaintiff]'s care plan; and
h. were otherwise negligent and violated the applicable standards of care.
 16. As a direct and proximate result of the above-described deviations from the applicable standards of care and breaches of duty by Defendants, [insert name of Plaintiff] was caused to sustain serious, painful and permanent injuries to her body, including great physical and mental pain and suffering, and, ultimately, death.
 17. As a further direct and proximate result of the above-described deviations from the applicable standards of care and breaches of duty by Defendants, [insert name of Plaintiff], among other things, was forced to undergo medical treatment, and, as a result, was obliged to expend sums of money for medical, hospital and other care and treatment and was precluded from engaging in his normal and usual pursuits and activities, among other injuries and damages.
 18. Had Defendants followed the appropriate and applicable standards of care, [insert name of Plaintiff] would not have suffered the above-identified injuries, damages and death.
 19. The injuries and damages herein complained of were directly and proximately caused by the negligence and want of care of Defendants, with no negligence on the part of [insert name of Plaintiff] contributing thereto.

 WHEREFORE, the Plaintiffs request that a judgment be entered against the Defendants for compensatory damages in excess of Thirty Thousand Dollars ($30,000.00) and any other relief to which this Court finds them entitled.

COUNT II (Wrongful Death)

 20. The Plaintiffs incorporate all of the allegations contained in the above paragraphs as if those allegations are set forth in this Count.
 21. As a direct and proximate result of the Defendants' above-described negligence in causing the death of [insert name of Plaintiff], the Plaintiffs have sustained, among other things, pecuniary loss, mental anguish, emotional pain and suffering, loss of society, loss of companionship, loss of comfort, loss of protection, loss of parental care, loss of filial care, loss of attention, loss of advice, loss of counsel, loss of guidance and loss of education. 
 WHEREFORE, the Plaintiffs request that a judgment be entered against the Defendants for compensatory damages in excess of Thirty Thousand Dollars ($30,000.00) and any other relief to which this Court finds them entitled.

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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 the development of gangrene, 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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