Last summer, retired teacher Eileen Cliggett, 79, died from a preventable bedsore wound. Nearly a year later, the hospital has apologized to her family.
Cliggett was hospitalized last June after cancer forced her to have a hysterectomy. Doctors gave an epidural pain killer and placed her on bed rest for a week.
Her 52-year-old daughter, Brenda, told reporters that the hospital failed to take appropriate measures to prevent Cliggett from developing bedsores. The bedsore went unnoticed until after her discharge, when a visiting nurse discovered what she said was a grade two bedsore. Cliggett was readmitted to the hospital with a “very severe infection,” according to online sources. She died on August 17.
“What happened to my mother should not be allowed to happen to anyone, particularly when in the care of hospital staff,” Brenda reportedly said.
She plans to file a lawsuit against the hospital.
In the meantime, a hospital spokesperson said the facility has changed how it prevents and takes care of bedsores.
A bedsore, sometimes called a pressure ulcer, is an injury to the skin and underlying tissue caused by prolonged pressure. It most commonly affects patients confined to a bed due to illness, surgery or an injury. If not treated soon enough, the wounds become deadly.
They're graded on four stages of severity. At the first stage, the skin is still intact, but the wound may hurt and look red or pinkish in color. At the second stage, the ulcer turns into an open wound. By stage three, the wound deepens like a crater. At the final stage and most severe stage, the patient suffers large-scale tissue loss, and the bone, muscles or tendons are exposed.