When you entrust your relative or spouse to a nursing home, you assume that they will receive around-the-clock care, and staff will see to all their needs. Nursing homes are legally bound to ensure that their residents are receiving a good standard of care and are free from any abuse and neglect. Unfortunately, neglect in nursing homes is common, according to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA).
If your loved one is suffering from bedsores, it could be an indication that the nursing home is neglecting them. You might be able to recover compensation for the costs of treating their bedsores in a lawsuit or insurance claim. An Atlanta bedsores lawyer can help determine whether you have a case against a negligent nursing home. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today for more information.
Bedsores and Nursing Home Neglect
Bedsores, also called pressure ulcers, are injuries to skin and tissue that develop due to pressure on the skin. Limited mobility and being confined to a bed make seniors in nursing homes particularly vulnerable for developing bedsores. Some other risk factors for bedsores, apart from limited mobility, according to the Mayo Clinic can include:
- Incontinence: If an elderly person’s skin is in prolonged contact with urine or stool in the nursing home, pressure ulcers can develop.
- Inadequate hydration and nutrition: If a nursing home resident suffers from malnourishment or dehydration, they might not receive adequate amounts of vitamins, minerals, and protein needed for healthy skin. This contributes to the development of bedsores.
- Medical conditions: Some medical conditions, such as diabetes, can increase the risk for bedsores and need careful monitoring by nursing home staff.
Steps a Nursing Home Should Take to Prevent Bedsores
Bedsores, while not uncommon among seniors in a nursing home or hospital, are preventable. A nursing home can prevent bedsores by moving and repositioning immobile residents frequently to avoid too much pressure on certain areas of their bodies.
Nursing home staff can also use special cushions or adjust the angle of beds to prevent the formation of bedsores. Staff should keep skin dry and clean at all times, change bedding frequently, and apply moisturizers and emollients for skin elasticity. All these steps can help prevent bedsores.
Unfortunately, when a nursing home is short-staffed, or the employees lack proper training and qualifications, bedsore prevention can be neglected. This can have disastrous consequences.
If you believe that your loved one is suffering from painful bedsores due to nursing home neglect and incompetence, you might be able to hold the facility to account and receive compensation. An Atlanta bedsores lawyer can help you weigh your legal options. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm now for a free evaluation of your case.
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Bedsores Are Dangerous
Bedsores can develop and worsen quickly. While at an early stage, a bedsore may show as a red and tender area of skin, later stages of bedsores can be deep and excruciatingly painful, even exposing bone.
Advanced and deep bedsores are extremely painful for the sufferer, and they can have life-threatening consequences. Deep bedsores can cause inflammation and infection to tissue as well as bone, reducing the function of joints. These severe injuries can be irreversible.
Sometimes, a bedsore causes sepsis, a serious condition that can result in multiple organ failure and death.
Late-stage bedsores are preventable. If your loved one has suffered from painful later-stage bedsores that resulted in other injuries, infections, or even death, the nursing home could be liable. Consulting an attorney might help you get clear on any legal recourse you might have.
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Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Watching your loved one suffer from painful injuries and medical conditions that could have been prevented by the nursing home can be infuriating. Medical treatment for these injuries may also be costly. However, you could be able to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit to get justice. An attorney can help you determine how to prove nursing home neglect and potentially help you receive a fair settlement for your damages.
If your loved one incurred medical bills for hospitalization and therapies, you could receive compensation for those costs. You might also be able to recover damages related to any emotional or physical pain and suffering. If your loved one died as a result of nursing home negligence, you could receive other awards, such as compensation for funeral expenses. If the nursing home acted in a particularly egregious and negligent way, you could also receive punitive damages.
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Proving a Nursing Home Failed to Provide Adequate Care
Nursing homes can be liable in many ways, for example, by hiring staff negligently or failing to terminate an underperforming employee.
A nursing home should always have an adequate number of staff on-site to supervise residents and assist them with their daily activities. If residents’ needs are neglected, for example, by not tending to bedsores adequately or not repositioning bedridden patients frequently, the nursing home could be liable.
There are a number of other ways in which a nursing home is potentially liable for injuries to patients, including bedsores and any medical complications arising from bedsores. However, proving the negligence of a nursing home can be difficult, especially when you are still trying to help your loved one recover.
We Can Help You Get Justice
Do not underestimate a nursing home’s capacity for fighting a claim, potentially with a team of lawyers on their side. In order to have a case against the facility, you will have to present concrete evidence and possibly expert witness statements and testimony.
Building a case can be labor-intensive and consume a great deal of time. An Atlanta bedsores lawyer can be by your side, take on all aspects of building your case, and negotiate a fair settlement, leaving you free to concentrate on your loved one and your family.
We can also fight for your rights in court. There are no up-front attorney fees as we get paid when we win your case. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm now to find out more.