Nursing Home Patient Dies Shortly After Severe Pressure Ulcer (Bed Sore) and Hip Fracture

James Needham was a veteran who raised a United States flag in his yard every day and who loved life.  His daughter described him as "truly very compassionate, caring, gentle and above all he had a lot of integrity."  In May 2006, he needed nursing home care.  His family turned to Life Care Center of Orange Park. 

Within a short time after James Neeham was admitted to the nursing home, he was allowed to develop a pressure ulcer (pressure sore, bed sore, bedsore, decubitus ulcer) that covered most of his backside.  He was also allowed to fall twice and suffered a hip fracture.  He died a short time later, but not before experiencing significant pain as a result of his injuries.  Read more about James Needham.

Following his death, James Needham's family filed a lawsuit against the nursing home, claiming its inattention to his care caused the pressure ulcer (pressure sore, bed sore, bedsore, decubitus ulcer), the falls and hip fracture, and his death.  In response, the nursing home chided the family, stating that it was sorry "an individual has chosen to call the commitment of both this center and our professional caregivers into question."  

James Needham was obviously deeply loved by his family, and, based on the article, his family's grief is profound.  He served his country, he raised a family, and he deserved better care.  James Needham was special.  However, the story of James Needham is not unlike the story of every other patient who has been neglected and abused by nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Virginia and across the country.  Each of these patients also has a special story to tell.  

The response of Life Care Center of Orange Park to the family's lawsuit was, on the other hand, offensive.  Rather than apologize for permitting James Needham to develop a severe pressure ulcer (pressure sore, bed sore, bedsore, decubitus ulcer), sustain multiple falls and a hip fracture, and die, the nursing home responded only with arrogance and denial.  The nursing home's administration obviously spent as little time preparing its response to the family's criticisms as the facility spent taking care of James Needham while he was a patient. 

James Needham is just like every neglected and abused nursing home patient . . . and Life Care Center of Orange Park sounds just like every other nursing home that has provided poor care!______________________________________________________________________
Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia.