Pressure Ulcer Lawyer
Each year, thousands of nursing home residents needlessly suffer from pressure ulcers. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that at least 1 in 10 nursing home residents battle pressure ulcers on any given day. In 2004 alone, a total of 159,000 nursing home residents in the United States were diagnosed with pressure ulcers. A good majority of these issues could have been prevented with the proper care giving and medical care.
If your loved one is suffering or has suffered from the painful experience of pressure ulcers because of the medical negligence of nursing home caregivers, physicians, and/or medical staff, you have the legal right to seek damages. You’ll need an experienced attorney to help you through these trying times and to ensure that you have the best success in proving your case.
At Nursing Home Abuse Center, our pressure ulcer lawyer is available to assist you. Call today for a free case evaluation at 1-866-548-9636.
How Do Pressure Ulcers Happen?
When people move into a nursing home, it’s because they need assistance with daily living tasks and medical care. Many nursing home residents are immobile and rely on nursing home caregivers to help them move around. If these residents do not get the help they need, or are left lying or sitting in the same position for too long, pressure begins to build under the skin. For example, if a nursing home resident is left lying on a bed for too long, the lower back area and the back of the head, ears, legs, shoulders and feet may develop pressure ulcers.
For residents who suffer from immobility as well as incontinence, the risks of pressure ulcers double if they aren’t monitored and taken care of properly. Undergarments and clothing soiled by urine or feces can cause open wounds. This situation is also more likely to result in infections.
Coupled with immobility, a nursing home resident that does not get proper attention is at high risk for not only pressure ulcers, but a host of other medical issues, including infections, sepsis and death.
Pressure Ulcer Treatment
Once pressure ulcers develop, it’s imperative that caregivers follow proper treatment procedures. This usually includes regularly changing bandages and applying a topical antibiotic ointment to the affected areas. Since pressure ulcer severity is determined by stages, it’s important to be proactive during the earliest stages, when the ulcers are still small, closed and easier to treat.
As pressure ulcers develop into later stages, debridement may become necessary. In the final stage, surgery may be the only option left. Of course, these issues are easily avoidable by moving the resident frequently, keeping wounds clean and regularly changing bandages.
Unfortunately, though, nursing home neglect is a serious problem in nursing homes. This results in helpless residents suffering through painful procedures that may be avoidable.
What Constitutes Nursing Home Negligence
Nursing home neglect is unfortunately one of the major reasons that residents develop pressure ulcers. Although there are instances in which a resident enters the nursing home with pressure ulcers, it’s the responsibility of the nursing home to perform a risk assessment on every resident. If no risk assessment is done and the resident’s injuries worsen, the nursing home may be liable.
In addition, failing to move immobile residents on a frequent basis is a type of nursing home neglect. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), immobile residents should change positions at least every two hours.
Getting Legal Help
It’s important to understand that federal and state laws protect nursing home residents from negligence and abuse. If you think your loved one developed pressure ulcers due to negligence, contact a pressure ulcer lawyer today. They’ll assist you in understanding your legal rights and are happy to provide a free case consultation.