Bed Sore Lawyer
In most cases, bed sores are preventable with the correct amount of care, and pre-existing bed sores that occur before someone enters a nursing home are treatable as long as caregivers provide the appropriate medical management. Sadly, however, there are a multitude of senior citizens who are senselessly in pain and suffering due to the negligence of nursing home staff members and caregivers. In fact, in many instances, a senior citizen who has never experienced a bed sore before may develop one while at a nursing home that doesn’t provide quality care, and unfortunately, these bed sores can rapidly get worse. Federal and state laws mandate that nursing homes provide a standard quality of medical treatment and care to nursing home residents at all times, and if these laws are violated, the nursing home may be liable for damages.
If your loved one has developed bed sores and you feel it’s a result of nursing home negligence, it’s important to retain the services of an experienced attorney who will assist you and help you understand your legal options and rights. Contact our leading bed sore lawyers at McIver Brown law firm today for a free case consultation.
Causes of Bed Sores
The most common reason for bed sores is when a nursing home resident spends a prolonged period of time in the same position. It doesn’t matter if the resident is sitting or lying down, bed sores can occur in either position and will only get worse over time without the correct measures taken.
In addition, caregivers must make sure to change any bed sore bandaging in a timely manner and apply medications on time. If nursing home residents are left for too long with old bandages and lack of medication, the bed sores will not heal properly and will eventually worsen.
Nursing home patients who require assistance using the restroom and/or suffer from incontinence problems must be monitored thoroughly. Soiled clothes should be changed immediately as leaving them on too long may also result in bed sores. Wearing clothing soiled by urine and feces can cause open wounds which may develop into bed sores.
Nursing home caregivers must make sure that:
- Nursing home residents are always monitored
- Immobile nursing home residents are repositioned frequently
- Pressure-reducing devices, such as pillows and padding are used
- Nursing home residents with fecal or urinary incontinence are changed regularly
- Bandages are changed and medications are applied on schedule
Common Areas in Which Bed Sores Occur
The most common areas in which bed sores occur generally depend upon how the nursing home resident is confined. For instance, nursing home residents confined to a chair or wheelchair for long periods of time will typically have bedsores on the back of their legs and arms, on the tailbone or buttocks, and/or around the shoulders and spine.
For bed-confined nursing home residents, bed sores may surface on the outer ears, the back and sides of the head, hips, lower back, tailbone, shoulders, heels, ankles, and/or the skin directly behind the knees.
Bed Sore Symptoms
According to the Mayo Clinic, bed sores are categorized by stage, with the lowest number stage being the most minor form. Symptoms associated with each stage include:
Stage I is the starting stage of a bedsore, characterized by
- Redness in the affected area of people with light skin, and a purple, ash-like, or blue color on the affected area of people with darker skin
- The skin during this stage is not yet broken, but the affected area and its surrounding areas may be painful when touched
Once the bed sore becomes an open wound, it has developed into Stage II. Other characteristics include
- The epidermis and dermis is now damaged
- The bed sore may be appear intact or may appear as a blister
- The wound is typically shallow and will usually be more wide than long
When the bed sore goes from only an open wound to a deep wound, it has reached Stage III. Other symptoms of Stage III include
- Fat may be exposed because of the deep wound
- The bed sore may seem crater-like in appearance
- Slough may surface at the bottom of the bed sore
In its final stage, bed sores will be the most severe, with symptoms that can include
- Muscles, tendons, and bones may be showing
- Dead tissue may be showing on the bottom portion of the bed sore
- Damage may be severe, going to other areas beyond the bed sore
Once bed sores reach the final two stages, the nursing home resident’s condition is considered life-threatening. Other diseases and medical conditions may follow including sepsis, cancer, cellulitis, and permanent bone and joint damage.
As aforementioned, if your loved one suffered from or is currently suffering from bed sores and any other health issue that may have resulted from bed sores, it’s important to understand your legal rights. If nursing home negligence played a part in these issues, you may be entitled to compensatory damages. For more information and for a free, no-obligation legal consultation, contact our experienced bed sore attorneys at McIver Brown law firm today.