The complaint was filed on behalf of Charlotte Pauline Dean, 51, who was a resident of Country Crossing Assisted Living and Hutcheson Home Health Care, both of which were named as defendants in the nursing home lawsuit.
In 2006, Dean died a day after being rushed to Hutcheson Medical Center due to multiple untreated nursing home bedsores that had become infected.
The lawsuit filed by her family accused the facilities of nursing home abuse and neglect in failing to properly care for Dean, who suffered from cerebral palsy. On Saturday, a Walker County State Court jury agreed and awarded the family $9,502,683 in compensation for funeral expenses, pain and suffering, and wrongful death.
Pressure ulcers or bedsores occur as a result of a lack of blood flow to an area of the skin caused by prolonged pressure on one area of the body. They most often develop in places with prominent bones beneath thin layers of skin, such as the heels, elbows and tailbone. The open sores often afflict nursing home residents and hospital patients with limited mobility who have trouble, or are unable, to move independently.
Most medical organizations consider bed sores to be a preventable condition that are easily treated if detected early through proper diligence on the part of medical staff and care providers. Failure to prevent, identify, or properly treat bedsores can result in life-threatening infections that enter the bloodstream, known as sepsis.