Woman Faces Charges After Elderly Patient Found With Bed Sores

Massachusetts Woman Faces Felony Elder Abuse Charges After Patient Suffers Hypothermia, Severe Bed Sores

bed soresA woman who worked in a Boston-area rehabilitation facility is facing a serious charge of felony elder abuse after one of the patients in her care was found in a tiny basement room, covered in bed sores and nearly frozen.

The 75-year-old victim was discovered in an 8-by-10 foot basement room kept at 51 degrees Fahrenheit, malnourished, dehydrated, and suffering bed sores so severe that they exposed bone.

Although Sandra Lucien-Calixte worked as a licensed nurse at Spauling Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston, the elderly victim was found in Calixte’s home. She and the victim were not related, so police are still unsure how the victim came to live with Calixte.

“With hypothermia, as your body cools down, everything falls apart,” said Dr. Kenneth Lawson, the chief of emergency medicine at Signature Healthcare Brockton Hospital. The elderly are much more at risk of hypothermia than adults.

“Stage four pressure ulcers do afflict a lot of the elderly, especially the malnourished,” Dr. Gary Gibbons of South Shore Hospital said. If the pressure is not relieved, the tissue can die and gangrene can set in. “A break in the skin lets bacteria in and people become infected.” He added that if some cases are left untreated, the victims can die.

“It requires a very aggressive treatment,” Dr. Gibbons added.

A paid home health nurse had visited the home to see the elderly victim three times per week since July 29th, 2013. The nurse reported that she had complained about the conditions in the home to her supervisor on numerous occasions, but nothing had been done about the elder abuse.

Calixte pleaded not guilty to the elder abuse charges on February 21st. She posted $25,000 bail and will go to trial on the elder abuse charges on April 14th.

Bed Sores are a Sign of Elder Abuse

While not all elder abuse is physical, there are many physical signs of potential elder abuse that should be monitored. If your loved one develops bed sores, that could be a sign of neglect from nursing home staff or hired caregivers.

Immobile or bed-ridden patients must be turned and moved so that pressure on certain areas of their body is alleviated to keep blood flowing properly, and if this is not done, sensitive skin, bruises, and welts can develop. Those welts can develop into sores, which can become infected. Once infected, the sores require aggressive treatment, including regular washing and even antibiotics. If a patient with bed sores does not receive proper treatment, the sores can lead to gangrene, exposure of bone and organs, and bone infections.

Unfortunately, many patients who suffer nursing home neglect or elder abuse can develop bed sores, among other physical and emotional ailments. Too often, patients die from infection related to untreated bed sores.

The Attorneys at the Strom Law Firm Prosecute Felony Elder Abuse

If your loved one has physically suffered, or died wrongfully, because an in-home caregiver or registered nurse in a nursing home has neglected the patient, you may have an elder abuse case. The attorneys at the Strom Law Firm understand the sensitive nature of elder abuse cases, and will treat you with respect and compassion. It is important to fight felony elder abuse so you, your family, and others no longer suffer because of criminal behavior. We offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your case. Contact us today for help.803.252.4800

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