Woman developed fatal bedsore while in nursing home’s care, suit claims

ORADELL – An elderly woman from Bergenfield developed a large, painful and deadly bedsore while in the care of doctors and staff at Oradell Health Care Center, a lawsuit filed on behalf of the woman’s family claims.

The family of Anna B. Burkhart, 90, admitted her to the continuing care retirement center at 600 Kinderkamack Road after she suffered a fractured right hip on Oct. 30, 2015, according to the suit filed in Bergen County Superior Court.

Burkhart was kept in a hospital bed in Oradell for 100 days – until her insurance ran out, said Lee S. Goldsmith, who represents Burkhart’s daughter, Martha Anne Richter.

Goldsmith said a doctor and staff at Oradell either failed to notice or ignored the bedsore as it developed and grew.

When Oradell discharged the woman, the family brought her home and discovered she was suffering from the sore on her sacrum or lower back.

They rushed her to Englewood Hospital, where doctors determined the bedsore, called a Stage 4 decubitus ulcer, had festered for so long that Burkhart had developed sepsis, Goldsmith said.

The hospital sent the woman back to her home in Bergenfield, where she died in the care of hospice workers on March 6, 2016, according to the suit.

The cause of death was complications from the bedsore, Goldsmith said.

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“I file a lot of nursing home lawsuits and this one really bothered me,” Goldsmith said in an interview on Friday.

“This bedsore was so bad it had worked its way into her bowel area,” said Goldsmith, who is also a medical doctor. “There was nothing that could be done and she died.”

The suit alleges “reckless indifference and deliberate disregard” and contends the center violated the New Jersey Nursing Home Responsibility and Rights of Residents Act.

“There was inadequate staff supervision, understaffing and the intentional underutilization of critical services,” the lawsuit states.

Goldsmith said the woman’s family visited Burkhart during the…

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