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97-Year-Old Man Dies After Nursing Home Allegedly Ignored Sore on Penis

3 comments

The son of 97-year-old Charles Bradley is suing the Everett Care & Rehabilitation nursing home facility in Everett, Washington after his father’s genitals allegedly disintegrated from penile cancer and ultimately contributed to his death.

According to court documents, Charles Bradley entered the nursing home in 2004 because of the usual ailments associated with old age. He continued to live in the nursing home until two weeks prior to his death on March 31, 2008. He apparently had a sore on his penis, which the hospital staff ignored until he was rushed to the emergency room on March 13, 2008. The injury to his penis was purportedly undiagnosed penile cancer.

The attorney for Bradley’s son argues that Everett Care & Rehabilitation staff allowed Bradley’s injury to worsen for months without care. According to the complaint, staff at the center noticed the wound while changing Bradley’s diaper in November 2007. The staff member who initially noticed the wound notified the care manager, however, that manager failed to notify Bradley’s doctor. Instead, Bradley’s wound continued to fester for the next four months and his genitals continued to disintegrate. Finally, when Bradley arrived at the Providence Medical Center on March 13th, he was initially diagnosed with pneumonia. However, doctors soon discovered the wound on his penis and determined that he had penile cancer.

The plaintiff’s attorney argues that Everett Care & Rehabilitation violated their promise to care for Charles Bradley. The lawsuit specifically seeks to hold the center accountable for allegedly failing to protect the elderly. Indeed, while the center refuses to discuss specifics on the incident, citing patient privacy concerns, they have not explicitly denied error. In fact, they have already received one citation from the Department of Social and Health investigators for failing to meet quality of care requirements designated by federal laws.

3 Comments

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  1. Tom N says:
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    As a professional in the long term care industry, I must take exception to the ending sentence in your article: “In fact, they have already received one citation from the Department of Social and Health investigators for failing to meet quality of care requirements designated by federal laws.”
    This unqualified statement used to bolster the case against the nursing home implies that the nursing home has or had provided substandard care. While it is the goal of every nursing home administrator to pass the state or federal surveys without receiving any citations, to do so continually over a period of years is nearly impossible.
    Also, every citation is not the same. Having a floor plant in a hallway that reduces the passage to less than 8 feet across would qualify for a citation. Does this involve direct care? Certainly not, but it is a fire safety hazard. The author of this article did not detail what type of citation that was given to the facility, instead relying on innuendo to cause bias in the reader.

    I would challenge the author of this article to find one nursing home, anywhere that hasn’t received at least one citation over the past ten years, or remove the final line from this article. Thank you.

  2. Devon Glass says:
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    The article linked to in the above post makes it clear
    “The state subsequently found the nursing home violated federal care standards by failing to provide Bradley timely medical attention, notify relatives or his doctor of changes in his health or report that the man refused to allow staff to check his genitals.”

    Would you agree such a violation would have relevance to Mr. Bradley’s claim?

    I do find it odd you defend nursing homes against Mr. Mittleman’s attacks, which you imply are innuendo, by claiming that all nursing homes violate federal health and safety standards. I’m not sure that’s the best defense of the nursing home industry, stating they are all guilty of endangering elderly patients. Federal health and safety guidelines exist to protect the people who are entrusted to the nursing home and we should not excuse behavior that puts patients at risk, even if everyone’s doing it. As the old saying goes, if all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you?

  3. Tom N says:
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    Mr. Glass,

    First thank you for responding to my post. My apologies. I had not followed any of the links in the blog, but read it as it stood on its own. And reading it as such, there is room for confusion. Your points are well taken but do elicit a response.

    First, in regards to nursing homes, their surveys and citations given by state and federal regulators. I did state quite clearly that it is the goal of every Administrator to pass all surveys without receiving any citations, but to comply with every level of guideline, which are not all equal, is nearly impossible to do over an extended period of time. My argument regarding the inability to pass every survey flawlessly over a period of years is less a defense for nursing homes, but more an indictment of the byzantine federal and state laws placed on the books to protect our patients.
    I recently attended a two day seminar put on by a nationally recognized Administrator with over 25 years of experience. He claims that he once made it 4 straight years without a citation, before receiving a minor one. Should he be sued? He’s one of the industry’s best!
    Secondly, not all citations are created equal. They exist in different levels according to the risk level or danger in which they place the resident (Levels I, II, III and IV). An example of a major citation would be the one involving the resident with the unreported penile cancer. An example of a minor citation would be the facility not placing a binder in a public space that lists past survey results. Would you argue that this facility is “guilty of endangering elderly patients?”
    This was the problem I had with the last sentence of the blog, as it stood on its own. I read it as, “this facility should already be deemed careless because they have received a citation in the past” even though the type, severity or time of the citation was not listed.