Elderly residents of nursing homes may be unable to move from their bed or are wheelchair-bound. In these circumstances, bedsores can easily develop. However, most bedsores resolve quickly when caught early, and if your loved one suffered serious injuries as a result of a bedsore, they may have developed it as a result of neglect while staying in a nursing home. If you are seeking justice on behalf of your elderly loved one who sustained injuries or even passed away because of a bedsore, contact a Riverside bedsores lawyer from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to help your loved one receive the justice they deserve.
Bedsores and Nursing Homes
Elderly residents of nursing homes often develop decreased mobility due to age or medical conditions that develop over time. Therefore, the population of a nursing home are more prone to requiring complete bed rest or remaining seated for most of the day. While this would be challenging for any person, elderly persons typically have little fat and thinner, more brittle skin, which makes placing pressure on one part of the body for a continuous amount of time more likely to develop bedsores.
Bedsores are also called pressure ulcers or pressure sores, and they develop when pressure on one part of the body occurs for extended periods of time without repositioning. While bedsores are common in nursing homes, if caught and treated early, these bedsores will resolve quickly without the need for serious medical attention. However, when this entirely preventable condition remains untreated, these bedsores can develop into large, infected wounds that can eventually cause permanent injury or even death.
Responsibility of Nursing Homes
Nursing homes have a duty and responsibility to ensure that their residents receive constant monitoring and care. Most families struggle with the idea of placing their loved one in a nursing home facility but ultimately do because they will receive the consistent care that they need. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the nursing home to evaluate the needs of every resident and ensure that those needs are met every day, throughout the day.
In the case of those residents that are on bed rest, either temporarily or permanently, or those residents that are typically seated for most of the day, the nursing home should proactively add in the resident’s care note that they should receive frequent repositioning to prevent bedsores from occurring. Additionally, those same elderly residents should receive checks throughout the day to see if any bedsores are in the process of developing. If any bedsores do begin to develop, a medical professional should be contacted and the resident should receive additional pillows or specialized mattresses that will also aid in the prevention of future bedsores.
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Detection of Bedsores
Just as the prevention of bedsores is quite easy, so is the detection of bedsores. Nursing home staff members should be taught that all residents that have any chance at all of developing bedsores should receive an inspection daily. While dangerous bedsores do not develop instantaneously, there are several stages that nursing home employees should be able to identify if they received proper training.
Early stages of bedsores will have the skin turning slightly reddish. There may be a bit of itching or discoloration to the area. At this stage, the bedsore has barely had time to develop. Repositioning the resident over the next few days should resolve the issue immediately. If any skin loss occurs or an open wound appears, the bedsore is developing into a more serious stage. At this point, any nursing home employee should easily identify the beginning of a severe bedsore, contact an attending physician, and follow their instructions for treatment.
Any bedsore that develops past this stage could result in permanent damage to the resident. Skin can die, muscles can become visible, wounds are deep, and infections begin. When bedsores progress into higher stages of development, they are a serious cause for concern. Immediate medical attention is necessary and, in some cases, if the infection develops into sepsis, an elderly resident may pass away.
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Elder Neglect and Bedsores
If an elderly resident of a nursing home develops a bedsore that can receive treatment and heal within a day or two, this is not a cause for concern. However, all bedsores should receive immediate treatment due to their easily identifiable signs on the skin. If an elderly resident develops a serious or life-threatening development of a bedsore, it is likely due to the fact that they did not receive the proper attention and care. They may not receive proper skin inspections on a daily basis, or the nursing home staff failed to reposition them in a timely manner. Whatever the reason, there is no cause for an elderly resident to ever develop serious bedsores needing medical attention.
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Consulting a Bedsores Lawyer Serving Riverside
Your elderly loved one deserved to receive proper care and attention while staying as a resident in a nursing home. If they developed any kind of serious bedsore, they likely suffered from nursing home neglect or abuse. Contact a Riverside bedsores lawyer from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to help your elderly loved one receive the justice and compensation they deserve for their injuries.