Resident with Oral "Comfort Measures" Agreement Not Given Antibiotics; $91,000 Settlement

October 19, 2020 | Aging Services Risk Management


A skilled nursing facility (SNF) resident who developed pneumonia died after the facility did not take her to the hospital or give her antibiotics. Although the resident's written Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) provided for minimal medical interventions and as-needed antibiotics, the SNF argued that it was following an oral agreement for comfort measures only. The resident's estate and the SNF settled for $91,250 in a Pennsylvania state court, reports an article in the June 2020 Medical Liability Alert.

On the resident's admission, she had Alzheimer disease, dysphagia, and coronary artery disease. The resident's daughter and physician developed and signed the POLST form. The POLST form included a do-not-resuscitate (DNR) order but...

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