Prolonged starvation in a care home

Mr S became resident of a care home at a time when he was mobile and enjoyed doing activities.

Whilst at the care home, Mr S suffered a prolonged period of starvation when an inappropriately severe and poorly monitored weight loss regime was implemented for a period of 3 years, which lead up to his death. This compromised his enjoyment of food and reduced his muscle strength. This also contributed to the formation of grade 3 and 4 pressure sores to the lower and higher sacrum (base of the spine).

Mr S was known to be at high risk of pressure sores but no preventative measures were implemented to stop them developing. Lack of nutrition and dehydration also contributed to the development of pressure ulcers and prevented them from healing.

Mr S’s weight reduced so significantly that he had lost over half of his body weight. The loss of body fat muscle tissue caused by starvation also resulted in loss of mobility and muscle function in general. Sadly, Mr S passed away.

A Letter of Claim was served on the care home setting out a ‘catalogue’ of breaches including: failure to follow the nutritionist’s instructions as to weight loss, failure to monitor weight loss, failure to implement any preventative measures to avoid the development of pressure ulcers, failure to devise and adhere to care plans etc.

Price Slater Gawne received a full admission of liability, a settlement was negotiated and damages were paid to his estate.