A Niagara County, New York jury ordered a Newfane, New York, nursing home to pay a former resident $1.2 million for neglect, alleging the long-term care facility allowed her “superficial” bedsores to worsen to the point that they became infected and exposed bone, The Buffalo News reported.
Shirley Burrows, 72, was discharged from Eastern Niagara Hospital in Lockport on March 3, 2015, and admitted to Newfane Rehab & Health Care Center for follow-up treatment of her bedsores, pressure sores caused by the body pressing against the surface of the skin too long. Bedsores are prevented by repositioning the body every two hours to alleviate pressure.
But instead of Burrows’ bedsores improving under the care of nursing home staff, her condition worsened to the point her wounds became infected and bone on her lower back became exposed. She was sent to Mount St. Mary hospital for treatment. Staff reportedly was aghast when they saw the condition of her sores.
Burrows underwent surgery and two years of treatment at the wound clinic. She has since been released from the hospital and is living at home in Newfane.
Burrows’ lawsuit named Newfane Rehab & Health Care Center, Integrated Care Systems LLC (which operated the nursing home until June 2015), and Eastern Niagara Hospital. Newfane has a two-star out of five-star rating on the Center for Medicare and Medicaid’s Nursing Home Compare evaluation.
The $1.2 million verdict included $475,000 for past pain and suffering, $300,000 for future pain and suffering, and $475,000 for violating the state’s public health law requiring special protections to nursing home residents.
Source: The Buffalo News