Isenberg & Hewitt, PC
Since 1989
Isenberg & Hewitt, PC
Since 1989
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Ants, sepsis play role in death of Arkansas nursing home resident

| Jun 3, 2021 | Nursing Home Neglect & Abuse

What was supposed to be a temporary rehabilitation stay in a nursing home turned into a nightmare for an Arkansas family. Within two months of her March 2020 admittance, a 56-year-old woman was dead. In between that time, her family alleges in a wrongful death and medical malpractice lawsuit that her health deteriorated and she developed numerous injuries and ailments, including malnourishment, sepsis, a urinary tract infection and open sores due to neglectful care.

However, the most horrific detail is that a medical crew discovered a swarm of ants covering the woman’s left side of her body, crawling up her catheter and between her legs. Court documents disclosed that the nursing home staff remained unaware that the ants ravaged her body.

Horrid conditions and neglectful staff

Such a story and legal case is one that most people would find unbelievable. But the neglect of vulnerable nursing home residents continues to happen throughout the country. Horrid conditions, a neglectful staff and clueless administrators triangulate to make these situations possible. This should not happen.

A year after the Arkansas woman’s death, her widow filed a lawsuit against the nursing home in the city of Fort Smith. She was admitted in early March 2020 to Methodist Health and Rehab for short-term rehabilitation with every expectation of returning home. At the time, the woman was alert with solid mental capacities but needed assistance for daily care and personal needs.

Her health deteriorated a week after arriving at the facility. After being transferred to a hospital, she was diagnosed with sepsis and in septic shock related to a urinary tract infection. Medical professionals treated her, and the woman returned to the nursing home.

The list of injuries and ailments she sustained also included sores on her face and lips and open sores in her perineum area. She died of sepsis because the Arkansas nursing home failed to meet proper standards in caring for its vulnerable residents, according to the lawsuit.

Why do incidents like these happen? It comes down to responsibility. At some nursing homes, administrators, managers and staff fail their residents. Neglect, incompetence and abuse play factors in cases like that of the Arkansas woman. Let us hope nursing homes will learn from cases like this one.

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