Bedsores are a sign of nursing home neglect and/or abuse. If your loved one lives in a nursing home and suffers from bedsores, there could be problems with the care they are receiving in their nursing facility. If you suspect abuse or neglect, you can contact a Fort Worth bedsores lawyer.
An attorney can help you understand your legal options and avenues for seeking compensation for your loved one. Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you seek justice. Call our team at (800) 842-6336 today for a free consultation.
Bedsores Can Result in Serious Health Complications
Bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers, are a type of skin and tissue injury caused by staying in the same position for too long. The condition often affects bedridden patients, people who use wheelchairs, and individuals who cannot reposition themselves. Bedsores are common among older adults, with 70 percent of pressure ulcer patients aged 65 or older, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP).
Poor nutrition, lack of proper skincare, and unhygienic conditions, such as sitting in soiled clothing, increase bedsores’ risk. So can health conditions like diabetes and poor blood circulation. Bedsores can develop over hours or days. They often appear where bones are close to the skin, and the body creates pressure in a seated or lying position, such as the heels, hips, buttocks, and shoulder blades.
As Johns Hopkins Medicine explains, pressure ulcers occur in four stages. Stage 1 is the least severe, and Stage 4 is the most serious. The signs and symptoms are as follows:
- Stage 1 – The injured area appears red and feels warm to the touch. The skin may darken or look blue or purple. It may itch, burn, or feel painful.
- Stage 2 – The area may develop a blister, have an open sore or scrape, and/or look discolored. It is significantly painful.
- Stage 3 – The pressure ulcer has spread to the tissue beneath the skin, causing a sunken or crater-like appearance.
- Stage 4 – The skin and tissue are seriously damaged, creating a large wound. At this stage, bedsores can affect joints, bones, and muscles, and there is a high infection risk.
Sepsis is one of the severest complications of bedsores. It is an extreme reaction to infection that occurs when your body’s infection-fighting response is out of balance. It can damage internal organs or cause a life-threatening drop in blood pressure called septic shock. Treatment for bedsores can be painful. The wound may require surgical removal of the infected tissue (debridement) or skin grafts.
Bedsores are a sign that the staff at your loved one’s nursing home is not providing quality care. Bedsores could mean the staff is not assisting your family member with moving and repositioning. If your loved one is incontinent, the ulcers could be a sign the staff did not promptly clean and change them. If your loved one had Stage 3 or Stage 4 bedsores that required debridement or led to sepsis, the staff should have noticed the wound and alerted you to the severity.
These instances are all examples of neglect, which is the failure to meet a resident’s basic needs for food, shelter, hygiene, medical care, and other services. Neglect can be the result of overworked or undertrained employees or a shortage of staff. At worst, residents could suffer neglect intentionally inflicted to harm or punish them.
More About Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Neglect is just one type of elder abuse. In addition to pressure ulcers, signs of neglect include malnutrition, dehydration, and poor hygiene. If someone is physically abusing your loved one, you may notice cuts, bruises, and other injuries. A high frequency of falls and other accidents could indicate neglect or physical abuse. Abuse may also be sexual in nature.
Emotional/psychological abuse includes harmful nonverbal behaviors, such as name-calling, threatening, ignoring, or isolating a resident. Financial exploitation signs include missing money and property and/or changes to official documents, like wills or life insurance policies.
For a free legal consultation with a Bedsores Lawyer serving Fort Worth, call (800) 794-0444
You Can Protect Your Loved One
Federal and state laws protect the right of Florida’s nursing home residents. Florida Statutes §429.28 is the state’s resident bill of rights. Guarantees stated in the statute include:
- The right to a decent living environment
- The right to live free from abuse and neglect
- The right to respectful and considerate treatment
- The right to privacy and dignity
- The right to access health care
If you suspect your family member’s nursing home violates the law, you can report it to the state. You can file a Health Care Facility Complaint Form online with Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA).
You may also take legal action against the facility. A Fort Worth bedsores lawyer can help you seek to recover damages, including the cost of your loved one’s medical care, nursing home fees, and relocation to another facility. If your loved one died because of an infection or other pressure ulcer complication, you could speak with a lawyer about seeking damages on their behalf.
The statute of limitations for nursing home injuries is two years, according to Florida Statutes §400.0236. The time limit begins when you discover, or should reasonably have discovered, your loved one’s injuries. However, if the nursing home intentionally concealed your loved one’s injuries, an attorney may be able to argue for an extension of your time.
Fort Worth Bedsores Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Today
Our firm is here to help you seek justice for your loved one. If your family member recently suffered from pressure ulcers, a Fort Worth bedsores lawyer can help you look into the nursing home and its staff. If neglect or abuse caused your loved one harm, we would work hard to hold them responsible.
Our goal is to help you win the compensation your loved one deserves. We do not shy away from tough cases, and we will not collect a fee unless we win financial awards for you. To learn more, call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 842-6336 for a free consultation.