Nursing Expert Comments on Substandard Decubitus Ulcer Care

Joseph O'Neill

Written by
— Updated on January 7, 2022

Decubitus Ulcer Expert WitnessThis case involves an elderly male patient who was admitted to a healthcare facility following a stroke. As a result of the stroke, the patient was left bed-bound and incapacitated, and was placed in the care of the Defendant facility. While under the care of the healthcare facility, the patient sustained numerous pressure sores. The skin lesions were noted by the nursing staff in charge of the patient’s care as redness, however their reports do did not accurately describe the sores as open wounds. Despite the fact that the facility was aware of the patient’s injuries, no measures were taken to address the patient’s sores. The lesions remained untreated until they developed into decubitus ulcers around the patient’s coccyx. As a result, the patient had been left with unhealing skin wounds that have required multiple surgeries.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1) Do you have experience in bed sore prevention protocol?
  • 2) What measures should be taken to ensure the skin integrity of bed-bound patients?
  • 3) How should skin integrity be assessed and documented?

Expert Witness Response E-007744

I am very familiar with pressure related wounds, from their development to their treatment. I began my nursing career in wound care, and I currently serve as the Chief Nursing Officer at a major healthcare center, where it is my responsibility to ensure incidences like this do not occur. The fact that the facility was aware of the patient’s condition and yet did nothing to address it is a blatant signal of negligence – both on the part of the nurses on staff and of the policies and procedures of the facility generally. The fact that the sores had progressed to such an advanced stage shows a sustained pattern of neglect.

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