Lawsuit Filed: Dependent Adult Man Suffers Severe Pressure Ulcer & Blood Infection Requiring Hospitalization Due to Negligence at Los Angeles Nursing Facility
Los Angeles, Calif. — Michael Skinner, a dependent adult man, was admitted to Alexandria Care Center because he required post-operative care and assistance with activities of daily living, all of which rendered him particularly vulnerable to the development and worsening of pressure sores and infections. While a resident of the facility for approximately ten days, it’s alleged facility staff wrongfully withheld regulatory mandated care from Skinner, which resulted in him suffering a severe stage IV pressure sore, bacterial blood infection and other injuries. Skinner was then unexpectedly transferred to the Kaiser Hospital Emergency Room due to a serious condition caused by the bacterial blood infection that was allowed to unnecessarily exacerbate his already significantly compromised immune system. Skinner continues to remain a patient at Kaiser Hospital, where he has endured a prolonged hospital course.
Garcia & Artigliere filed a lawsuit against Alexandria Care Center for dependent elder abuse, and negligent hiring and supervision.
“In an unfortunate effort to conceal Alexandria Care Center’s alleged negligence, facility staff knowingly concealed Michael’s worsening conditions from his family, physician and legal representative and allowed him to suffer unnecessarily,” said Attorney Stephen Garcia. “It’s clear the facility falsely and fraudulently represented that it was sufficiently staffed and equipped with the resources to meet Michael’s needs because management knew that once admitted as a resident, he was simply a source of revenue. Management’s focus on its own attainment of profit played a direct role in the underfunding of the facility, which led to numerous violations of state and federal rules, laws and regulations.”
Allegations and Background
In January 2018, Skinner was at home eating breakfast when he suddenly vomited and passed out. His family rushed him to Kaiser Sunset Hospital, where he was admitted for intestinal issues that required three surgeries and insertion of drains into his stomach. After surgery, Skinner received physician orders for placement on Total Parenteral Nutrition and was discharged to Alexandria Care Center for physical therapy in or around February 2018.
Three days after Skinner arrived to the facility, his Aunt Joyce visited to see how he was doing. When Aunt Joyce arrived, she encountered a verbal confrontation between Skinner and Alexandria Care Center Nurse Jolly regarding his physician ordered wound care. Specifically, Skinner complained to Nurse Jolly because his bandaging was not being changed each time he had a bowel movement as ordered by his physician at Kaiser Hospital. In response, Nurse Jolly stated that Skinner’s bandaging had been on him for 24 hours before it was changed. When Skinner’s Aunt Joyce expressed concerns regarding the potential for infections by allowing him to sit in his own feces for such an extended period, Nurse Jolly assured her that infections would not develop.
Four days after Skinner arrived to the facility, his Aunt Joyce had a Care Plan meeting with his primary care physician from Kaiser, the facility Director of Nursing and the facility Administrator. During the Care Plan meeting, Skinner’s Aunt Joyce was informed that he was finally being moved to a different room. Before then, the facility placed Skinner in the same room with three other residents. It was only after Skinner’s Aunt Joyce noted their misconduct violated state and federal regulations governing shared rooms did the facility decide to take correct action.
After the Care Plan Meeting, Skinner’s Aunt Joyce inquired as to the reasons the facility had not yet started the physical therapy for which Skinner was transferred to the facility to receive. It’s alleged facility staff fraudulently represented that there were no physician orders provided by Kaiser Hospital for the provision of physical therapy. Thereafter, Skinner’s Aunt Joyce requested that a chair be placed in his room to assist him with his bed mobility. In response, Skinner was brought a folding chair.
The lawsuit states that over the course of Skinner’s residency and as a result of the facility’s wrongful withholding of regulatory mandated care, Skinner suffered significant changes to his condition, which the chronically understaffed facility was unable to recognize in a timely fashion. As a result, facility staff failed to notify Skinner’s physician of these significant changes for days, which prevented Skinner from receiving effective treatment.
Predictably, as a result of the facility’s alleged wrongful withholding of timely nursing assessments, monitoring the effectiveness of treatments and prompt notification of significant changes to his condition to his physician, Skinner was transferred to the Kaiser Hospital Emergency Room. Upon his arrival, Hospital Nurse Kelly noted Skinner had a stage IV pressure sore on his back that was not present when he was discharged to the facility less than two weeks earlier. Nurse Kelly also noted Skinner had developed a gram-negative bacillus, a multidrug-resistant organism in his blood from the inadequately maintained drains in his stomach.
Due to Alexandria Care Center’s alleged failure to promptly notify Skinner’s physician of significant changes in his condition and failure to promptly arrange his transfer to address his emergent conditions, his bacterial blood infection exacerbated to a severe stage. This delay forced Skinner to be placed on contact isolation precautions, antibiotics treatment, increased dependency on dialysis, provision of ice chips to flush out the chemicals from his system and suffering from rapidly declining mental status.
According to the lawsuit, Skinner underwent an operation to replace the drains in his stomach after the drains had fallen out, extensive wound care and antibiotics treatment and an additional operation to drain fluids that had accumulated in his stomach and lungs.