Patient suffered bed sores, says suit against Atrium Health Care

By Kelly Holleran | Apr 20, 2009

Atrium Health Care and Rehabilitation Center is being sued over allegations a patient suffered bed sores.

David Spriggs claims Pauline Richards was admitted to Atrium on Jan. 23, 2008, and lived there until March 20.

While at the center, the 69-year-old Richards developed multiple decubitus ulcers on her hips, thighs, back, buttocks, lower extremities and feet, according to the complaint filed April 15 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

Atrium employees violated multiple provisions in Illinois code, including failure to provide adequate and properly supervised care and failure to institute a regular program for Richards to prevent and treat bed sores, the suit states.

Spriggs says employees also failed to administer standards of nursing procedures to treat Richards's bed sores by failing to turn her and by failing to use pressure relieving equipment and failed to provide necessary treatment to heal the bed sores.

Employees failed to provide adequate supervision of Richards, failed to obtain appropriate treatment plans with healthcare professionals relative to Richards's weight loss and dehydration, failed to note significant changes in Richards's physical condition, failed to implement a program to address Richards's development of bed sores and failed to properly train employees to ensure Richards did not develop pressure sores, according to the complaint.

Atrium also failed to properly train its employees on how to prevent pressure sores, the suit states.

Because of the treatment she received while at the center, Richards sustained infected bed sores, was dehydrated, suffered from a high fever, infections, physical pain and mental anguish and incurred medical costs.

In the two-count suit, Spriggs is seeking a judgment in excess of $100,000, plus attorney's fees, costs and other relief the court deems just.

He is represented by Stephen C. Buser of the Law Office of Stephen C. Buser in Columbia.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-194.

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