Due to lower nursing staffing levels, African Americans in big cities are at a higher risk of serious injury than white nursing home residents elsewhere.
“Nursing Homes with higher concentrations of black residents tended to have lower staffing levels of registered nurses and certified nurse assistants, and be in larger for-profit and urban facilities. From 2003 through 2008, the prevalence of pressure ulcers among high-risk nursing home residents was higher among black residents than among white residents. In 2003, the pressure ulcer rate was 16.8% for black nursing home residents compared to 11.4% for white residents. In 2008, the rate was 14.6% compared to 9.6%” … Yue Li, PhD, et al. JAMA; July 13, 2011-Vol 306, No.2.
“Regardless of race, hospitals and nursing homes must pay for their mistakes and the injured must be cared for.” — Greg Vigna, MD, JD
Dr. Greg Vigna, national malpractice attorney and wound care expert, says, “Unfortunately this study showed nursing home residents with similar medical problems that place them at a high risk of developing a decubitus ulcer indicates that simply being an African American exposes them to a higher risk than whites of developing a Grade II-IV decubitus ulcers when under the care of others. Lower nursing staffing levels at nursing homes make a difference, which affects African Americans.”
Dr. Vigna continues, “The occurrence of bedsores is the ultimate red flag that the care rendered at the bedside is broken. The most important ‘point of care’ in hospitals has always been at the bedside, as that is where injuries can be prevented, and complications can be identified. To see statistics that indicate that simply being African American and living in a big city places a person at higher risk of a preventable injury is a warning sign that public funds paid to nursing homes for care are either inadequate or are being diverted away from the bedside. Regardless, among the patients who are at a high medical risk of developing a decubitus ulcer, African Americans residing in big cities are at a higher risk of serious injury than white nursing home residents elsewhere.”
Decubitus ulcers are classified as ‘Never Events’ by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services because they are preventable by basic nursing care.
Dr. Vigna concludes, “Regardless of race, hospitals and nursing homes must pay for their mistakes and the injured must be cared for.”
Greg Vigna, MD, JD, is a national malpractice attorney and an expert in wound care. He is available for legal consultation for families and patients who have suffered decubitus ulcers because of poor nursing care. The Vigna Law Group along with Ben C. Martin, Esq., of the Martin Law Group, a Dallas Texas national pharmaceutical injury law firm, jointly prosecute hospital malpractice and nursing home neglect cases, nationwide.
To learn more about the association of race and sites with ulcers among nursing home residents, click here.
Greg Vigna, MD, JD
Vigna Law Group
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