Can a nursing home be sued for allowing a resident's diabetic foot ulcer to turn into gangrene?

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My diabetic husband in a nursing home developed an ulcer on his foot which turned bad even with treatment. NH kept telling me it was doing really good, looking good, etc. and had even been debriding it. No antibiotics given. Four days ago, I was called and told he had a 102.8 temp and was being transferred to hospital. When I got there, the ER doctor told me he had gangrene in his heel and told me to take a picture of it. It was black. I went to the NH, showed them the picture, and they kept saying it had looked good to them. He had surgery the next day to removed the gangrene and most of his heel. Infection (sepsis) in the blood and may be in the bone. Kidneys are going bad. He is only 53, but suffered a bad stroke 4 years ago, lost the use of his right arm and leg. Fell and broke his hip and required 24/7 care, so was placed in skilled NH home for care. So mad about this. How could the nurses there not have known how bad this was? May still lose his foot.

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No suggestions, just sympathy. How horrible.
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Gloria, one of the first problems I see is that he's diabetic, which tells me that he will have a more difficult time healing from any wound than someone who's not diabetic. As you probably know, diabetes can delay and affect the healing success of wounds. That may have been a factor in the development of gangrene.

However, I'd like to know over what time period did this happen? How long ago was the ulcer first discovered? Did you check his foot and monitor it when you visited him, before you were notified of the high temp and hospital admission?

I might be thinking about finding a medical malpractice attorney with experience in suing or negotiating with nursing homes, to at least order the NH's records for you. You could do this yourself as well, but it might take longer to get them. If you retain an attorney, he'll have the records reviewed by a doctor in a specific practice area to determine if malpractice exists.

Given the seriousness of the situation though, I would be frank in asking the doctors what his chances of recovery are, just so you're prepared.

But I am sorry to read about this sad situation and do hope that he's able to recover without further complications, especially from the sepsis.
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