$2.2 Million Settlement After Resident Dies from Festered Ankle Blister

June 10, 2022 | Aging Services Risk Management


​A case centering on a nursing home resident who died from a festered ankle blister has settled for $2.2 million, according to the April 2022 issue of Medical Malpractice Verdicts, Settlements & Experts.

An 88-year-old woman, who was physically active and could interact with her family, was admitted to a nursing home due to dementia. A "wander guard" was placed on the resident's ankle after two months in the facility, and it blistered her ankle. The blister did not heal and continued to fester, resulting in an emergency room visit three months later. By that time, 80% of her lower right leg was decomposing; she eventually died as a result of that wound. The resident's family sued the nursing home, the medical director of the nursing home, and a wound care physician. The resident's family members said that her legs were covered when they visited her, so they did not notice the wound. The family also alleged that the nursing home was negligent in failing to ensure that the resident's worsening condition was properly assessed and treated. The family claimed that the facility allowed a recently-hired licensed practical nurse to assess and treat the resident without proper training, that the nurse gave the resident inappropriate treatments without a physician's orders, and that the nurse violated physician's orders when they were issued. The nurse did not acknowledge that the blister showed the woman had underlying venous and arterial insufficiency that required treatment. The defense's position was that the resident was in the late stages of dementia, was terminally ill, and...

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