A nursing home has paid $375,000 to settle claims by a former resident that poor wound care led to his below the knee amputation. The man, a diabetic and smoker, was in the nursing home for post-op care following a left leg artery bypass operation to treat a circulatory condition called peripheral vascular disease. That surgery, although a success, had not cured a persisting diabetic ulcer on his left heel. Following a six week stay at the nursing home, the man was discharged to home nursing care. However, shortly after coming home, his foot ulcer became septic. He was taken to the ER and the same day underwent amputation.
Swartz Culleton sued the nursing home for malpractice.
According to prosecuting attorney Chris Culleton, “The nursing home failed to follow medical procedure and provide adequate treatment for this ailing individual. Specifically, the nursing home had discontinued using a wound treatment device called a wound vacuum.” Medical experts hired by Swartz Culleton provided opinions that the wound vacuum treatment would have increased the chance that the wound would have healed. The experts also criticized the facility’s decision to send the resident home, although by that point his fate was essentially sealed.
The patient died of unrelated causes, and the suit was continued by his family and Swartz Culleton. A settlement of $375,000 was obtained for the man’s estate.