Pressure Ulcers

Karen Zulkowski's picture

By Karen Zulkowski DNS, RN, CWS

How do you act when giving a deposition? It’s not something we covered in school. As I said last month, you probably won’t remember the plaintiff (patient). You may have only taken care of the person once or twice or when they were your patient. They may have gone back and forth to ICU and different units, or between the hospital and nursing home, so you had limited contact with them.

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Karen Zulkowski's picture

By Karen Zulkowski DNS, RN, CWS

Being involved in a lawsuit is never fun. However, if your facility is sued because a patient developed a pressure ulcer, you may have to testify. Pressure ulcers are the second most common reason for medical lawsuits. The facility and physicians are usually the ones targeted for monetary damages, but everyone that has taken care of the patient, the family that brought the lawsuit, and experts hired by both sides will have to be deposed.

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Karen Zulkowski's picture

Part 1 in a series discussing the process of litigation in patient care lawsuits

By Karen Zulkowski DNS, RN, CWS

Hopefully none of you will be involved in a lawsuit over patient care. However, pressure ulcers are the second most common lawsuit (wrongful death is #1) and 50% of patients with a pressure ulcer in the hospital go to a nursing home. That is 3 times the rate of any other reason for nursing home placement. To complicate matters, patients with pressure ulcers frequently go back and forth between the hospital and nursing home as additional medical complications arise and the patient’s condition deteriorates.

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Aletha Tippett MD's picture

By Aletha Tippett MD

What is palliative care relative to wound treatment? In short, it is about humanity, caring and compassion. Today I saw a 90 year-old woman in a nursing home. She had hip and ankle fractures, and developed a sacral ulcer in the hospital. She was in excruciating pain, screaming at every touch. To correct her turned-in hips, she was trussed up in a hip abductor device – she called this “the dragon” – that was both uncomfortable and painful.

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Laurie Swezey's picture

By Laurie Swezey RN, BSN, CWOCN, FACCWS

Heels are particularly vulnerable to skin breakdown. The posterior heel is only covered by a thin layer of skin and fat, and that makes breakdown a very real risk. When patients lie supine, all of the pressure of their lower legs and feet rest on the heels, which have relatively poor skin perfusion and a paucity of muscle tissue to absorb stress.

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