If you discover that your loved one developed bedsores under the care of a nursing home, it could signal that nursing home abuse or neglect occurred. Bedsores can develop when a caregiver leaves a patient in the same spot for too long, and the pressure to that single spot forms a wound. It can take time and medical care to heal a bedsore. It may also potentially cause life-threatening complications for seniors.
Bedsores represent a significant health concern for nursing home patients. In many cases, bedsores develop as a result of nursing home neglect or abuse. Nursing homes have an obligation to provide a high standard of care to patients. When they fail to provide this level of care, patients may hold their facility accountable. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to discuss how our team of Chicago bedsores lawyers may help you build your legal case.
Possible Bedsore Complications
Without proper and prompt treatment, bedsores can cause serious, potentially life-threatening medical complications, according to the Mayo Clinic. Some of the most common bedsore complications are:
- Sepsis: Sepsis is a quick and possibly deadly response to an infection that can cause organ failure and tissue damage. In some cases, patients died because of sepsis, as their body releases chemicals that cause inflammation throughout your body.
- Cellulitis: This skin and tissue infection can cause serious redness, pain, blisters, headache, chills, weakness, swelling, and warmth at the site of the bedsore. Untreated cellulitis could lead to shock or amputation due to significant tissue damage, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.
- Infections: Serious blood, bone, and skin infections can occur as a result of bedsores. In some cases, these infections prove challenging for medical staff to treat.
- Squamous cell carcinoma: Chronic bedsores can lead to a type of cancer known as squamous cell carcinoma.
These represent only some of the complications that can occur because of bedsores. Your loved one may experience other types of medical complications that will require additional treatment. All bedsores are painful and uncomfortable.
Not All Bedsores Come From Neglect
Proper care can prevent some bedsores. Nursing home staff can reposition residents often enough to reduce the risk of developing bedsores, and they can use pressure-relieving equipment to limit the amount of pressure at any one spot. Certified nursing assistants and nurses undergo specific training on how to prevent bedsores. When you place your loved one in a nursing home, you expect them to know what steps to take to reduce the risk.
Bedsores occur in four stages, according to The Permanente Journal. Nursing home staff should monitor their patients closely enough to identify the signs of a possible bedsore quickly so that it does not progress into a more serious condition. If a caregiver does not catch and treat a bedsore in its first stage, it could end up becoming a life-threatening condition, as deep ulcers may develop.
Stage One Bedsore
A stage one bedsore exhibits redness on the skin of the affected area. At this stage, an open wound has not yet occurred. The skin around the sore gets very red or loses color under pressure. Early intervention may prevent a case from becoming severe.
Stage Two Bedsore
During the second stage, a bedsore could form a blister and seep open. The tissue may bleed from the point of pressure. At this point, the skin may not heal.
Stage Three Bedsore
A stage three bedsore classifies as a serious medical condition, as it impacts the body’s tissue. It could look like a hole in or under the skin. This type of bedsore can prove extremely painful and require a lot of medical intervention.
Stage Four Bedsore
The last stage represents the worst type of bedsores. The skin ulcer extends so deep into muscle, bone, and tissue that the patient may not even feel any pain because of severe tissue damage. The long-term prognosis for stage four bedsores remains negative, and the tissue may never heal.
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Bedsore Risk Factors
Some nursing home residents live at an increased risk of developing bedsores. Nursing home staff should practice strategies to reduce the chances of patients experiencing bedsores in patients most likely to suffer from one. Some bedsore risk factors that nursing home staff should look for include:
- Poor mobility: Any time that too much pressure affects one area, a bedsore could form. When nursing home residents have limited mobility, the chances that they will suffer from a pressure sore increase.
- Malnutrition: Nursing home residents need to get enough nutrition, and caregivers should adhere to their nutritional plans. Malnutrition can contribute to bedsores.
- Dehydration: Proper hydration keeps your body healthy. Dehydration can cause problems for tissue and may contribute to bedsores.
- Blood flow-restricting medical conditions: Some medical conditions, such as heart disease, put patients at an increased risk of developing bedsores.
This list represents just some of the risk factors for developing bedsores. While some risk factors remain outside of a nursing home staff’s control, nutrition, hydration, and repositioning the patient can help. In the event that the actions of a nursing home contributed to bedsores, you have a right to hold the facility accountable. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to discuss your potential legal case with our team.
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Contact a Chicago Bedsores Lawyer for Help
If your loved one suffered from bedsores while staying in a nursing home or hospital, you may have a legal case. It is your right to seek compensation for the pain and suffering, ongoing medical care, and other damages related to the bedsore. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to discuss the details of what happened. You do not need to go through the complex legal process alone.