Thursday, July 22, 2010

Hardee County Florida woman charged with elderly neglect

Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum has announced the arrest of a Hardee County woman who has been charged with operating assisted living facilities without a license and neglecting elderly adults under her care.

The arrest followed a joint investigation by McCollum's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit's Patient Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation (PANE) Team and the Hardee County Sheriff's Office.

Investigators said that Juanita Jackson Wright, 52, was operating three assisted living facilities in Wauchula without a license. She currently has two licensed facilities, but failed to get licenses for the three others.

Two of the unlicensed facilities were condemned in June by the county as unfit for habitation, which is the basis for the charges of neglect.

If convicted, Wright could face a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison and $25,000 in fines.

McCollum's PANE Team has played a key role in the investigation of this case. The group acts to detect abuse and neglect of elderly and disabled adults and ensure that efficient and effective health care is being provided.

elderly neglect: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Jury Gives $114 Mil. in Winter Haven Nursing Home Abuse Case

The verdict is one of the largest ever by a Polk County jury.

Juanita Jackson died July 6, 2003, after staying at Integrated Health Services at Auburndale.

A lawsuit filed the next year claimed that Jackson's treatment at the facility led to her death.

The allegations included that Jackson was hurt after falling down and received other injuries from pressure sores, overmedication, malnourishment and dehydration.

A representative for Delaware companies listed in the lawsuit as operating the nursing home at the time of Jackson's stay, Trans Healthcare and Trans Health Management, could not be reached Wednesday for comment.

Blair Mendes, one Tampa lawyer representing Jackson's family, said the companies weeks ago stopped participating in the lawsuit after years of litigation.

A default judgment was entered against them on July 7, and jurors were asked to determine the amount of money in damages.

On Tuesday, jurors awarded $14 million in damages and $100 million in punitive damages to Jackson's family, which includes three daughters and a son.

"We are going to try to collect," Mendes said.

Jackson's children declined a request for an interview but released a statement.

"We are proud that we fought for our mom, and we are glad that people recognized the suffering she went through. We hope this will help make sure no one else has to go through such a horrible experience."

Jury Gives $114 Mil. in Winter Haven Nursing Home Abuse Case : "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Monday, July 19, 2010

Decubitus Ulcer Treatment Pioneer

How one nurse helped stop killer bedsores

It sounds obvious today, but it took the work of an innovative nurse in the 1950s working with a group of elderly patients to realise it.

Bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers, are lesions caused by a number of factors including unrelieved pressure.

The elderly and infirm are particularly vulnerable, with bony areas of the body particularly prone.

Relieving pressure

Before Doreen Norton carried out her research, nurses had over a hundred remedies on offer - but none worked.

Martin Johnson, professor of nursing at the University of Salford, said the work of nurses like Doreen had changed the face of patient care.

Her work, and that of countless other nurses over the last 50 years, is being celebrated next week by the Royal College of Nursing at its annual research conference in Cardiff.

Professor Johnson said that, before Ms Norton's paper, bedsores or pressure ulcers were a major killer of hospital patients and nothing seemed to help.

"If one had a bedsore on the sacrum (at the base of the spine) or the heel, there were about 150 different prescriptions that ward sisters would issue to remedy this. None of these were very successful.

"She was able to show that really the only successful way of treating pressure sores was to remove the pressure - really obvious!

"This had an immediate implication that the nurses had to turn the patients at least every two hours.

"And this was a study that that was based on science rather than just what people thought."

Kate Gerrish, professor of nursing at Sheffield City Hospitals and Sheffield Hallam University, said that the bedsore study had been seminal, reversing the practices of years for nurses like herself.

"Looking back, what we did was horrifying.

"I was taught to do certain things for bedsores that have subsequently been shown to be harmful to patients.

"When we were trying to prevent pressure sores we would put all sorts of things on their skin - including menthylated spirits and soap, and we would massage the areas.

"All that has been proved to be detrimental to patients."


As well as altering the approach to bed sores, Ms Norton, who died two years ago, also helped design the King's Fund bed, an adjustable bed used in many hospital wards.

She said she had "always had a feeling for mechanical things", and her first job had been in engineering in her father's refrigeration engineering firm.

Dr Peter Carter, chief executive and general secretary, of the RCN agreed: "Nurses spend more time with patients than any other health professionals and so really understand patient needs.

"Due to this, over the last 50 years, nursing research has been instrumental in bringing about significant healthcare advancements. "