Latest tragedy to strike nursing home

Another tragedy involving nursing homes has occurred and this time an elderly man has lost his life. Mr Zdenek Selir,

Another tragedy involving nursing homes has occurred and this time an elderly man has lost his life. Mr Zdenek Selir, died in hospital after staff at a Gold Coast nursing home failed to properly monitor and treat pressure wounds on his buttocks and feet, according to the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner. The 88-year-old, who was known to friends and family as Danny, moved into the Leamington nursing home in Southport in June 2015 after suffering a stroke. Mr Selir who developed gangrene, had minor pressure wounds when he arrived, but the operator of the facility acknowledges his condition deteriorated during his stay.

It was a family member who was first alerted to the situation when she visited the home and noticed a foul odour.

“She could smell something in the room and she couldn’t work out what it was and she pulled the covers up because she thought maybe he needed changing or something,” said Mr Selir’s daughter-in-law, Yvonne Selir. It turns out the situation was much more serious than that. “He had pressure wounds to the lower buttocks and his back and it had eaten into his skin and it was actually going to go gangrene,” she said.

“The other pressure sore he had was on his heel and his heel was that badly affected it had already gone to gangrene.”

Mr Zdenek Selir, died in hospital after staff at a Gold Coast nursing home failed to properly monitor and treat pressure wounds.

Ms Selir claims the visiting family member asked nursing home staff to call for an ambulance but they instead insisted his wounds were manageable. The operator of the facility disputes this. According to Ms Selir, the relative took their own steps and called for alternative help, reports ABC News.

Mr Selir was taken to the emergency department at the Gold Coast University Hospital, where doctors took photographs of his wounds and forwarded them to his family. The images, some of which are too graphic to be published, reveal an enormous pressure wound, measuring 15 centimetres, on his buttocks.

They also show the full extent of the gangrene on one of his heels, which had turned black.

Ms Selir said her father-in-law was placed in a “fallout chair” for several hours at a time without being rotated and more should have been done to improve blood circulation. But by the time Mr Selir reached the hospital, it was too late.

“There was nothing they could do because the infection had taken over and it was shutting his organs down,” she said.

“It was devastating to see him just laying there. It should never have happened.”

Unsatisfied with the initial response from the nursing home’s operator, Opal Aged Care, Ms Selir referred the matter to the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner.

It found in her favour, noting there was “insufficient recording of wound care” and that nursing staff were not “monitoring the wounds consistently” or keeping Mr Selir’s GP up-to-date on his condition.

Gary Barnier, managing director of Opal Aged Care, acknowledges mistakes were made, adding that Mr Selir should have been referred to a specialist.

“Not only should the registered nurses have paid a bit more attention to the dressing and so forth of the wound, I think, really, it should have been escalated in a more effective way,” he said.

“All I can say is how sorry I am that the family feels the way they do.”

Aged And Disability Advocacy Australia (ADA Australia) chief executive Geoff Rowe said anyone with concerns about the treatment of an elderly person in aged care should contact organisations like ADA Australia by ringing a national hotline on 1800 700 600.

What do you think could have been done to prevent this? Whose mistake was this?

  1. Heather  

    P lease Lord, let me Never end up in one of these Homes….They sound horrible and have not changed and never will……..Don’t know what the answers are…

    • Pauline Wilson  

      Not all are like that. My mother-in-law was in Buderium Views for the last 4 years of her life. Almost reached 98. She had almost no vision and dementia. Every time we visited or other family visited, she was well cared for. Showered, hair combed, being fed if it was lunch time. We were always informed if she had a fall or even had a minor skin tear. We were always greatful to the dedicated staff there and if for some reason beyond my control, I had to go to a nursing home, that would be my choice.

  2. Greg Hills  

    Why wasn’t he diagnosed immediately by the home’s doctor, and admitted to hospital before it got worse. Nursing homes aren’t and never will be a substitute for a hospital.

  3. Jacquie  

    My mother is in a nursing home and is bed ridden. She is dependant on the staff for everything as she can’t walk, but she is as bright as a button and her mind is still right on the mark. She gets treated badly. Left for ages after she has buzzed to go to the toilet as they need a hoist to lift her out of bed which requires 2 people. Has had her hand broken after a staff member gripped her frail hand to tightly to lift her up. Has possessions stolen frequently either by staff or other residents but she won’t let us say anything to management as she says they take it out on her if she does say anything. Her bed is moved away from her buzzer in the night, she is left to wet and soil herself then left longer until someone come eventually to change her. She is terrified to speak out for fear of reprisals! She is 89. I pray I go in my sleep a home before my family has to do this to me.

    • Sue montebello  

      I work in a nursing home and have been for 15 yrs and would never leave a resident in soiled clothing or not answer the buzzer .The nursing home where l work monitor buzzers and how long it takes for staff to answer them.Not all nursing homes are the same you have some very careing staff that go out of there way for resident ,buying clothe’s,taking in treats . So please don’t’ tar all nursing homes with the same brush

    • Pamela  

      How can you leave her there?

      Why have you not moved her to somewhere better or taken her home and treated her as you would want to be?

      How can you sleep at night?

      I am beyond appalled!

    • Joy Anne Bourke  

      This should be reported. REPORT THIS IMMEDIATELY. They charge exorbitant fees for aged people to stay in a home. It sounds that the Aged Care homes are more interested in making a profit instead of care for the aged. There needs to be a Investigation into all nursing homes. Turnbull should be making sure this is done and not looking after his cronies and himself.

  4. Marie Scribbins  

    Staff shortages Cutbacks on hours more workloads added. THIS is the reason these things happen.
    Its all about the almighty dollar. The poor girls work so hard to keep up.
    Been there done that for many years .NOTHING changes I worked many unpaid hours overtime
    .And worried every day when I went home
    .The residents where like family to us nurses.
    I had an expression
    Like shovelling S##T up a hill with a teaspoon.
    Skeleton staff rostered on overnight
    AND the pay is crap.

    • Wilma  

      I agree with you! Poor staff are run off their feet! Makingmoney seems to be the priority. There are some good ones though!

      • lorraine johnston  

        I too had worked for years in a nursing home. The nurses are angels in my opinion. There are cutbacks continually and they cant keep up. Many left just due to overwork and frustation. ALL THE STAFF , INCLUDING MYSELF WORKED MANY HOURS FREE OVERTIME. According to our unions, ALL nursing homes had staff which did. We didn’t like it, but just couldn’t do the work in the hours allotted. Not enough money for our aged.

    • Mia Van Der Stam  

      You are 100% right- spot on

  5. Olive Sant  

    Any registered nurse involved with this patient’s care should be sanctioned for negligence. There is no excuse as nurses are trained to care for these issues and when to refer them on for specialist treatment. I am ashamed of my proffession.

    Retired Registered Nurse.

  6. Deb Lancaster  

    The problem is that these homes are basically staffed by personal care attendants. They are not nurses although they will call themselves such. They may have good intentions but they have no training to care for people with complex needs. Trained nurses are few and far between on the ground in most nursing homes. This started happening when Registered Nurses were removed from these homes. Most of them only have Medication Endorsed Enrolled Nurses in senior positions. Our elderly deserve better than we are currently doing for them. The almighty dollar is the driving force, not concern for residents.

    • pam edgar  

      Care givers may not havea badge on their chest but many are dedicated compassionate people who care deeply for those that rely on them for basic daily care.empathy is not something that can be learnt or comes with a badge it is a natural instinct and so many caregivers have that special gift. Dont knock them. They are trainedto take note of changes in a patients condition and report it to senior staff for ongoing treatment. The best “nurses”are not necessarily registered!

  7. Ailsa  

    This sort of thing is common and yet the Federal Government has just cut funding for aged care,

  8. Wendy Williams  

    Am over staff shortages. This us a cop out. How come so many unemployed

    Have had severL occasions with my mum however always dismissed as if nothing has happened. Apologises never.

    • Pam cooper  

      No its not a cop out there are plenty of people waiting to do the job. Unfortunately many are not suited that they hire in these places. The other is I challenge you to look after 22 residents between 2 people. Its getting harder with government cut backs. Soon it will be 2 to 30. There is no ratio in nursing homes. Its a challenge day after day to give continuety of care they way we would like to.

  9. Anne Parkinson  

    Yet again another negative, do people ever look for positives and publish them? I don’t only mean aged care but lots of the caring services, public hospitals, the police, ambulance etc! I am an aged care Registered Nurse who has a dearly loved mother living in the same facility (different section from where I work). Let’s get real, the government is setting us up to get even less money for the dear people we look after!! Pay peanuts you get monkeys ! Makes me SICK

  10. Rosie  

    The Aged Care Facility is fully responsible. The Registered Nurses are obviously not properly trained in wound care management. Wound care Clinical Nurse Consultants are available at public hospitals and visit aged care facilities when requested by Aged Care facility staff.
    Some Aged Care facilities are just plain greedy and do not have Registered Nurses rostered on 24 hours a day so palliative care medication cannot be administered. The government funds aged care and should be proactive in reviewing the level of care given to the elderly residents.
    This Aged Care Facility needs to review their policies, procedures and staff education.

  11. June Walker  

    I will commit suicide rather than end up in an Aged Lack of Care Facility. I have witnessed what happens in these prisons and I wouldn’t wish this end of life on my worst enemy.

  12. I’m a Hospice Nurse and due to seeing so many being not treated with the love and care that all people deserve no matter their health problems , I stepped out to care for those in their own homes or family homes.. Love and family are the most important to all..
    I was blessed and honoured to care for many..
    When a person is in such a vulnerable time in their live, it saddens me to know of how many non compassionate people work in Nursing Facilities, and how heart breaking it is for those that are up against the adverse conditions of wanting to give the proper love and care for those in such need..

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