Nursing home residents often have medical conditions that keep them confined to a bed or a wheelchair. Staying in one position for an extended period of time can make patients susceptible to bedsores. Employees in a long-term care facility have a responsibility to frequently turn residents with limited mobility and to take other steps to prevent bedsores.
Despite the risks associated with bedsores and the fairly simple measures that can prevent them, nursing home staff members often do not follow protocols. Residents who are already in poor health and develop bedsores may be at risk for other, more serious problems, including potentially deadly infections.
If your loved one developed bedsores while living in a nursing home, a Tulsa bedsores lawyer may be able to seek financial compensation. Call our office today to talk to a member of our staff about how we may be able to assist you.
Causes of Bedsores
Bedsores can form if a person stays in one position for a long time and one or more parts of the body are forced to endure prolonged pressure. Bedsores commonly form on the shoulders, spine, elbows, hips, knees, heels, ankles, and buttocks.
According to Mayo Clinic, when a bedsore is beginning to develop, the appearance and texture of the skin may change. The skin may become discolored and may feel warm or cool to the touch. The area may become swollen and tender, and pus-like fluid may drain from the site.
If a bedsore is not treated immediately, it can worsen. The skin may become broken, and multiple layers of skin may become so damaged that bone, muscles, and tendons become exposed. Some bedsores are so serious that they cause deep tissue injury that can be difficult to treat. Bedsores are extremely painful and may cause a patient’s mobility to become even more limited than it was before the bedsores developed.
Since bedsores are open wounds, they are at risk of infection and sepsis. According to Mayo Clinic, sepsis can occur when the chemicals that the body releases to treat an infection cause changes that can lead to organ failure, septic shock, and even death.
How Nursing Homes Can Prevent Bedsores
Bedsores can be extremely dangerous to patients in long-term care facilities, and they are preventable. Employees should follow procedures to prevent pressure ulcers in a resident who is immobile or who has limited mobility.
Nursing home staff should turn a patient at regular intervals so that parts of the body that had been in contact with the bed are relieved of pressure. An air mattress or cushion can make a resident comfortable and prevent bedsores.
Employees in long-term care facilities should check the body of a bedridden patient daily to look for signs of bedsores. If a nursing home resident has already developed a bedsore, or if one is starting to form, it should be addressed immediately. The wound should be cleaned and dressed to protect it from further pressure and irritation that could make it worse. Damaged tissue may need to be removed.
If the wound becomes infected, the resident may need to be treated with antibiotics and may need to be given pain medication. In extreme cases, a patient may need surgery to treat a bedsore that was left untreated and allowed to progress.
Staff members should be trained so that they understand the dangers of bedsores, how they form, and how to prevent them. Facilities should have standard policies and procedures in place to protect all residents. They may also need to develop individual care plans to suit the needs of specific patients. New employees should review care plans for immobile patients before they begin working with those individuals. If a patient’s needs change, all staff members should be notified of the new policies and procedures.
If your relative developed bedsores while residing in a long-term care facility, a Tulsa bedsores lawyer may be able to help your family seek justice and a financial award. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to discuss your loved one’s injuries with a member of our staff.
For a free legal consultation with an bedsores lawyer serving Tulsa, call (800) 794-0444
Bedsores May Be a Sign of Neglect
Bedsores are one of the most common types of injuries that residents of long-term care facilities endure, even though they can easily be prevented. If a senior citizen in a nursing home develops bedsores, that can be evidence of neglect. Staff members possibly failed to adjust a person’s position because they were not properly trained, they were overwhelmed by the needs of numerous patients, or they simply chose not to provide the patient with the care that he or she needed and deserved.
Working in a long-term care facility with patients who have a variety of physical and cognitive challenges can be stressful and exhausting. Staff members frequently feel overwhelmed and may be unable to give each resident the amount of time and individual attention he or she needs and deserves. Burnout is common among nursing home employees.
Understaffing is a common reason for neglect in nursing homes. Turnover rates in long-term care facilities are high. When managers are unable to hire and train enough qualified employees and to keep them around for the long haul, other workers can be overburdened. That can cause them to fail to provide residents with appropriate care. Although the neglect may be unintentional, the facility may be held liable for injuries caused by understaffing.
Tulsa Bedsores Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
What to Do If Your Loved One Suffered Injuries in a Nursing Home
If your family member developed bedsores because of neglect while residing in a long-term care facility, the nursing home is liable. A Tulsa bedsores lawyer may be able to pursue justice and obtain a financial award as compensation for your relative’s injuries. A member of our team can travel to meet with your family in person to discuss your case.
Under Oklahoma Statute §12-95, the statute of limitations to file a personal injury lawsuit is two years. Since personal injury cases are often complex, the sooner you get in touch with Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, the better. Call our office today so our staff can get started as quickly as possible.