Our client was a very active and independent woman who enjoyed the daily activities of her retirement with her husband of 60 years. She developed arthritis in her knees and sought treatment for the pain she was experiencing. Our client elected to have a left total knee replacement. After the surgery, she was placed on a bed pan and remained that way for many hours. Fourteen hours after she was initially placed on the bed pan the nursing staff noted a skin tear on our client's buttocks. The nursing staff did not notify our client's treating physician and did not consult the enterostomal therapy nurse. There were no skin care treatment protocols initiated in an effort to treat her acute skin breakdown and/or prevent further skin breakdown. Our client was neither turned nor repositioned, which is the standard of care for someone with skin breakdown.
Later the same day our client was transferred to the rehabilitation unit. She was examined by the rehabilitation physician and was noted to have decubitus ulcers that were caused by a bed pan. The doctor immediately ordered an enterostomal nurse consultation. An incident report was written and photos of the wound were taken. The enterostomal therapy nurse indicated that there were stage two pressure sores on the buttocks that appeared to be from the nurse leaving the patient lying on a bed pan. During her rehabilitation process our client required intense and painful wound care therapy for these areas. Our client was discharged from the rehabilitation unit, but still continued to treat her wounds for the next three months. Her surgery should have resulted in a fairly quick rehabilitation process, but instead became a painful long term journey for our client. During her wound treatment she was unable to wear normal clothes and remained in nightgowns. Our client required daily treatment of her pressure sores.
The nursing staff's neglect and failure to follow proper nursing protocol resulted in our clients painful, stage II decubitus ulcers. Now our client has permanent scarring, decreased sensitivity in the area, and is at an increased chance of developing decubitus ulcers again. Due to the obvious negligence of this hospital, Todd Townsley was able to make a just and satisfactory recovery for this client.