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Nursing home accused of worngful death

A Port Arthur, Texas, nursing home has been accused of letting a man die from dehydration, malnutrition and severely infected pressure ulcers, according to a lawsuit. The plaintiffs said that the man was not given enough water and developed the ulcers during a six-week stay at the nursing facility.

About two weeks after being admitted into the nursing home, he was transferred to a hospital because the pressure ulcers had become much worse. There, he was diagnosed with a urinary tract infection and a life-threatening sodium imbalance that indicated he had received far too little water at the nursing home. A week later, he was released and sent back to the nursing home, only to find himself in the hospital once again the following week.

On his third and final visit to the hospital, the man was diagnosed with pneumonia, fever, severe dehydration, malnutrition and a dangerously high white blood cell count, indicating the presence of an infection. The pressure ulcers had become very severe, exhibiting necrotic tissue, prolific drainage and a foul odor. Doctors determined that the patient would require very aggressive treatment, with only a small chance of recovery. The family discussed the options with the hospital staff and opted for end-of-life treatment at a hospice. A few days later, the man died of aspiration pneumonia.

The plaintiffs say that the nursing home failed to prevent the ulcers and failed to give proper treatment once they had developed. If true, the family may be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering, medical expenses, funeral costs and the unnecessary loss of a loved member of the family.

Source: The Southeast Texas Record, "Wrongful death suit accuses Port Arthur nursing home of failing to adequately treat patient", Kelly Holleran, August 12, 2013

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