Kaiser Did Not Rehabilitate Old Man’s Broken Hip, Family Says
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (CN) - Kaiser left a 91-year-old man lying in urine and did not rehabilitate his broken hip, his son and daughter claim in Sacramento County Superior Court.
Pam Haskins, individually and as successor-in-interest to Daniel Buckley, and Dennis Buckley individually, sued Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, The Permanente Medical Group, Inc., Azalea Holdings LLC dba McKinley Park Care Center and Plum Healthcare Group LLC, for elder abuse, violations of the Patients’ Bill of Rights, negligent infliction of emotional distress and wrongful death. Another daughter, Sandra Myler is also named as an heir defendant.
According to the lawsuit, Daniel Buckley was a 91-year old World War II veteran who lived with his (nonparty) granddaughter. He enjoyed listening to the news in both English and Japanese, reading newspapers and books and participating in the Sacramento Bonsai Club, it says. Although Buckley had Parkinson’s disease, it was managed with medication and “he was able to perform all of his personal activities of daily living,” it says.
All that changed on March 23, 2014, when he fell in his kitchen, fracturing his hip, the complaint continues. He was treated at a Sacramento-area Kaiser hospital with a procedure called “intramedullary nailing,” it says.
“This procedure allowed him to bear weight immediately after the surgery. The Kaiser defendants were aware that a universally accepted principle of recovery from hip repair surgery is the need to take aggressive steps to mobilize a patient after surgery. Further, the Kaiser defendants were aware that the need to mobilize was even more essential for elderly patients with Parkinson’s disease, like Mr. Buckley,” the complaint states.
Nonetheless, Kaiser staff did not pursue getting Buckley up on his feet, his family claims.
“Incredibly, the Kaiser nurses never even once got Mr. Buckley out of bed during his entire first week at Kaiser,” he complaint states.
“In addition to the lack of mobilization, Ms. Haskins witnessed the Kaiser defendants’ failure to place the call light within his reach and failure to place the urinal within his reach such that he would become incontinent of urine. On one occasion, Ms. Haskins’ mother-in-law reported that she observed urine streaming down his sheets. A nurse then came in and observed this, but did nothing in response and allowed Mr. Buckley to lie in his urine,” the complaint states.
On April 1, when Buckley was transferred to non-Kaiser McKinley Park Care Center, part of the Plum Healthcare Group, he was “in a rigid and deconditioned state,” but his skin was intact with no bedsores, according to the complaint.
Within a month, that changed, it continues. During his 38 days there, he developed a bed sore on his lower back which never healed, a urinary tract infection and a painful fungal infection that gave him black patches in his mouth and made it hard for him to eat and drink, according to the complaint. As a result, he lost eight percent of his body weight and got aspiration pneumonia, it says.
“As a result of the reckless neglect of the Kaiser defendants and the Plum defendants, Mr. Buckley died on May 8, 2014,” the complaint states.
Pam Haskins and Dennis Buckley seek general, special, treble and punitive damages, attorneys’ fees and costs of suit. They are represented by Kerri A. Rollins and Edward P. Dudensing in Sacramento.