Kaiser Left Old Man to Lay in Diarrhea and Urine, He Says
MARTINEZ, Calif. (CN) – Kaiser doctors put a dependent, elderly man in a bed that was too small and let him lie in his own feces and urine for extended periods of time, the man claims in Contra Costa County Superior Court.
Allen Wayne Pruitt sued Kaiser Foundation Hospitals-Antioch dba Kaiser Permanente Antioch Medical Center dependent adult abuse, negligence, and negligent hiring and supervision.
Allen says he was admitted to the hospital emergency room on Jan. 26 with a bowel blockage, cellulitis, and Strep-B in his left leg. Due to his multiple infections he was weak, immobile, and completely dependent on the staff for care.
Though the hospital promised to care for Allen following his surgeries, it had no such objective and intentionally deceived his family into believing he was receiving top notch care though he had developed a “painful, infected and avoidable pressure ulcer,” the complaint states.
Allen claims Kaiser intentionally limits its own resources and cuts staff to a minimum to maximize profits at patient expense. It constantly receives citations from the Department of Public Health for deficient care, but hides them from the public eye, the complaint states.
Though Allen is 6’2”, the hospital put him in a bed that was two inches too small. Thanks to his fatigue and immobility, he thus spent his entire hospital visit in “chronic pain and discomfort,” according to the complaint.
Despite having frequent outbursts of diarrhea due to his antibiotics, the hospital rarely sent anyone to help with his hygiene and toiletry needs, leaving him sitting in his own waste for long periods of time, the complaint states.
They also did not bother turning him every two hours as they are required to do for bedridden patients, and he developed severe pressure sores, the complaint adds.
When he was discharged to a nursing home, the staff immediately noticed the sore on his buttocks and gave him an air mattress to relieve the pressure. They also turned him every two hours, but their efforts were in vain: “the sore had already tunneled through the tissue below his skin and the bruise eventually opened up, as the skin was necrotic and non-viable, revealing a stage IV decubitus ulcer,” according to the complaint.
Since the wound keeps getting infected, Allen says, he is constantly on antibiotics and therefore must constantly deal with diarrhea, which leaves him dehydrated, malnourished, and dependent on adult diapers and a urinary catheter.
The catheter is further result of Kaiser’s negligence, Allen says. When doctors inserted the catheter at the hospital, they did not attach it to his leg and the catheter tore the opening of his penis, making it impossible for him to urinate normally.
Also, though obligated to report Allen’s pressure sores to the Department of Public Health, Kaiser chose not to file such a report because it would not get paid if it did, according to the complaint.
Had Kaiser kept enough staff in the hospital to help patients and trained the staff it did have, Allen says, his injuries would never have happened.
He seeks general, special, punitive, and exemplary damages for dependent adult abuse, negligence, and negligent hiring and supervision.
He is represented by William Artigliere with Garcia, Artigliere & Medby of Long Beach.