You can likely sue a nursing home for bedsores.
How Bedsores Happen
When a person remains lying in one position for an extended period of time, they place continuous pressure on their skin. Gradually, the pressure begins to damage the person’s tissue and skin, which grows more sensitive with age. Pressure ulcers form, especially on parts of the skin that covers hips, shoulder blades, and heels. Pressure ulcers can also form on your head, tailbone, knees, and other bony parts of the body.
These ulcers also result from friction when an elderly person’s fragile skin rubs against sheets or clothing. They can also result from sliding down in bed, which causes shear on the skin.
Nursing Home Staff Are Responsible for the Prevention of Bedsores
Bedsores are a common threat to patients at long-term care facilities and nursing homes. Nursing homes train their staff on the importance of turning their residents from one position to another every few hours. They can also lessen the pressure on bony parts of the body by cushioning them with a foam pad. Staff must maintain residents’ cleanliness and keep their skin moisturized but dry.
When these residents develop bedsores, family members can take legal action against the nursing home.
Other Risk Factors the Nursing Home Can Mitigate
While positioning and lack of cleanliness can cause bedsores for nursing home residents, staff should also be aware of other risk factors that can create bedsores, especially in the elderly:
- Loss of sensation: The resident does not feel the discomfort associated with their position and, therefore, does not change positions on their own, even if they can do so.
- Low circulation: Some medical conditions slow blood flow, which heightens the risk of tissue damage.
- Lack of hydration and/or nourishment: Healthy skin requires plenty of fluids, vitamins, protein, and calories.
Nursing home staff should be aware of each resident’s ability to develop bedsores considering the above risk factors. These facilities should include measures in their care to counter the risk of bedsores among residents.
Signs and Symptoms of Bedsores
If you suspect your bedridden or low-mobility loved one may be experiencing neglect, consider checking for the following signs and symptoms of bedsores:
- Changes in skin texture or color for no explanation.
- Parts of the body that are tender.
- Areas of swelling.
- Patches that are warm or cool to the touch.
- Pus-like draining.
Dangers and Complications of Bedsores
Foul-smelling sores that grow increasingly red, warm, swollen, or that are draining may be signs of an infection. Infections can cause a range of complications, starting with cellulitis—a swelling of the infected region. If infection sets in the resident’s joints and bones, it can damage surrounding tissue. Infections in the bone can impair movement of limbs and joints.
If a bedsore fails to heal and persists for a long time, it can transform into a squamous cell carcinoma (cancer). There is also a small but dangerous risk of sepsis with bedsore infections. Contact our team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today if you are considering suing a nursing home due to your loved one’s bedsores: (800) 201-3999.
Treatment for Bedsores
To treat your loved one’s bedsores, you will likely need to enlist the expertise of qualified medical personnel, including some of the following:
- Primary care physician
- Wound care specialist
- Medical assistants
- Social worker for resources and emotional support
- Physical therapist
- Occupational therapist
- Plastic surgeon
- Orthopedic surgeon
Other Signs of Neglect in A Nursing Home
U.S. News and World Report reported several other warning signs of bad nursing home care, which include:
- Unanswered call lights and phone calls.
- Unusually frequent turnover in staff.
- Staff’s inability or unwillingness to answer questions or address your concerns.
- Malnourished or dehydrated guests.
- Few or no improvements to the facility.
- Dramatic changes in a patient’s physical abilities and emotional well-being.
- A gut feeling that something is wrong.
If You Are Thinking of Suing a Nursing Home for Neglect Due to Bedsores, We Can Help
Besides the pain and suffering of the physical damage from bedsores, the medical expenses for treating them are costs that the nursing home facility should bear.
The nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm will take your case, after careful review. We can investigate the cause of your loved one’s bedsores, identify who is liable, and calculate damages. If you hire us, we can negotiate a settlement with the insurance company for damages.