Bruises & Nursing Home Abuse
Know When to Call a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer in Chicago, IL
At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, we represent clients in all 50 states. Based in Chicago, Illinois, our skilled nursing home abuse lawyers can help you determine whether or not your elderly loved one's bruises indicate neglect or abuse. If you notice potential bruises or other signs of abuse, do not hesitate to reach out to our firm. With 50+ years of collective experience and 10,000 cases handled, we are well-versed in the laws surrounding nursing home abuse cases and know how to assess claims. After your report the situation to the proper authorities, take legal action by reaching out to our award-winning firm. We partner with top litigation law firms around the U.S. to provide a multi-firm strategy to our clients.
Our Chicago nursing home abuse attorneys can travel to clients across the country! Call us today at (800) 774-7120 so we can begin to investigate your case.
Bruising as Evidence of Elder Abuse
A bruise is a soft tissue injury that causes discoloration of the skin. Bruises are often caused by physical trauma to the discolored region. While some people bruise very easily, others only bruise as a result of a serious impact. Bruises can be particularly prevalent among the elderly community because their aging bodies are not as well equipped to recover from an impact as a young person's body is.
It is important to keep this in mind if you notice that an elderly loved one is exhibiting a few bruises. You should try to distinguish between a one-time bruise and a bruise that indicates foul play, abuse, or neglect. First on this page, we will give you a brief overview of what a bruise looks like so you can evaluate the symptoms you see. Then, we will discuss possible treatments, and, finally, legal remedies.
Overview of Bruising
Bruises are soft tissue injuries that appear as the result of blood leakage just below the surface of the skin. The medical term for a bruise is a "contusion." When you bump into a coffee table or get hit by an elbow during a sporting match, you will likely get a bruise.
The colors of a bruise may change:
- The initial signs of a bruise are localized soreness and redness under the skin.
- After a few days the red hue then changes into a blue and black mark as the blood under the skin changes colors.
- The bruise then starts to fade into a green and yellow mark as healing progresses.
- Finally, before total healing the bruise will likely appear light brown or yellow.
Bruises come in three forms of severity:
- Subcutaneous (beneath the skin)
- Intramuscular (within the underlying muscle)
- Periosteal (a bruise on the bone)
Of course, the most common type is the subcutaneous bruise, which appears on the skin as described above. The other two types of bruises are rarer and usually require a blunt type of trauma to occur. In a nursing home, these sorts of bruises might result from a serious fall or accident. Bone and muscle bruises can take months to heal, while subcutaneous bruises should heal within a few weeks for most patients. If your loved one sustains a serious bruise as a result of a fall or physical treatment in a nursing home, you might want to consider if the bruise was caused by an honest accident, or if it was the result of more serious neglect.
Does Bruising Mean Abuse Is Taking Place?
Although the two more serious types of bruises mentioned-intramuscular and periosteal-are a concern, they are not the main way to detect nursing home abuse or neglect. Subcutaneous bruises are one of the easiest bodily cues that can be used to spot nursing home abuse or neglect. As mentioned above, the elderly are more prone to bruising than others, so a single bruise may not indicate abuse or neglect. Older patients are predisposed to bruising because as a person ages his or her skin loses some of the elasticity and padding qualities it used to have. Weaker surface skin can then expose the underlying blood capillaries to trauma injuries quite easily. If you spot a bruise on a loved one, your first step should be to talk with them about how he or she got the bruise.
You can also pair conversation with common bruise remedies. To treat a bruised area, elevate the body part above the heart if possible, and cover it with an ice compress a few times a day. The ice should be wrapped in a towel or blanket so the bare skin is not exposed. If the injured person experiences significant discomfort from the bruise he or she can try to rest the injured area for a few days and also take over-the-counter painkillers if applicable. Before administering any painkillers, it is important to verify that these drugs do not conflict with anything else the patient is taking. To do so, it is best to speak with the nursing home staff about treating the bruise.
Speaking with a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Is the Next Step
Bruising should become more worrisome if you notice a pattern of bruises in the same areas of the body that do not go away over time. Patterns of bruising might be an indication that the nursing home is neglecting or abusing a patient. Bruises could be a result of restraints or improper physical conduct.
If you notice a pattern of bruising you should talk with your loved one about what might be causing the injuries and you should also alert care staff about the problem. Keep communication lines open between all parties and monitor for improvement as much as possible. If you feel that your loved one is not receiving appropriate attention for the bruising problem, or if you think the problem is a result of abuse or neglect, you should contact our Chicago elder abuse attorney immediately. We serve clients nationwide and travel across the country.
A diligent Chicago nursing home abuse attorney at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you to thoroughly investigate and resolve any case of possible abuse or neglect: Call us at (800) 774-7120 for a free consultation.