Older or immobilized patients require intensive care and attention due to the prolonged pressure on their bodies while confined to a bed. When a negligent nursing home doesn’t monitor their residents’ skin conditions, appalling bedsores can develop.
Through careful and compassionate advocacy, we’ll connect with each client and hold at-fault parties accountable for their actions or failure to act.
Bedsores, commonly known as pressure ulcers, are one of many nursing home injuries. These ulcers develop on areas of a patient’s skin that have been in continual contact with a hard surface, most likely their bed or wheelchair.
Pressure ulcers could appear as harmless, reddened areas of the skin or severe, crater-like wounds.
Think about a bedsore as a blister on your foot after a long hike. It starts as an irritated hot spot that progressively worsens as you rub that area against your shoe. Failing to change your sock and air out your foot could result in a painful blister and infection.
Common spots for bedsores include bony areas with little fat, such as:
Certain patients are at a higher risk for bedsores, depending on their medical condition. Patients with poor blood circulation or those with diabetes are more prone to bedsores.
Older patients suffering from mobility issues can’t readjust themselves in a bed or wheelchair. Without the ability to alleviate pressured areas of the body, bedsores develop over time.
Some patients might even have nerve damage that prevents them from knowing a bedsore is developing. Nursing home staff must know each patient’s condition and pay close attention to at-risk individuals.
When certain parts of the body are under pressure for long periods, it prevents blood flow and oxygen from reaching that area. Poorly padded bedding or wheelchairs are common causes of bedsores.
An increase in friction between the skin and clothing, bedding, or wheelchairs can worsen pressure ulcers.
There might be instances where the skin moves in the opposite direction of the body and stretches, irritating the skin. This is referred to as shear.
Shear could result from a poorly elevated bed that causes the patient to slide down and pressure the tailbone.
Untreated bedsores result in severe harm or even life-threatening consequences. When pressure ulcers develop into large open wounds, the threat of infection dramatically increases.
Infection often leads to the worsening of the resident’s pre-existing conditions. If the infection is not controlled, it may develop into sepsis.
Sepsis is a life-threatening condition in which the immune system attacks its own body, causing tissue damage and organ failure. If not immediately treated, sepsis is fatal.
Patients with nerve damage who are unaware of their bedsores are even more at risk for infection if their caregivers continually neglect them.
There is a four-stage system for evaluating bedsores. Stage one is the least serious, and stage four is the most severe.
Each stage is described by the bedsore’s appearance and the pain felt by the patient.
Bedsores can be treated with the following methods:
Although most pressure ulcers are treatable, some take months or years to heal properly.
Bedsores are a sign of extreme negligence. If patients were adequately turned and checked on regularly, there is no reason for a bedsore to develop.
A competent caregiver understands the necessary steps to prevent a bedsore, including:
Nursing homes often claim that bedsores are unavoidable. However, that is rarely true. Almost all pressure ulcers are avoidable with proper monitoring and care.
A quality nursing home with a well-trained staff should never allow bedsores to develop. When nursing homes and their staff fail to uphold their duty of care, they will be found negligent.
Nursing homes are responsible for the care and recovery of many patients. Often, facilities will try to cut corners.
This leaves employees overworked and unable to give each resident the necessary attention.
Immobilized patients in need of daily care could be left unattended for hours or days, increasing the risk of bedsores.
Although it may seem that the individual nurse is at fault, the root problem could be the nursing home itself. In that case, the nursing home is responsible for your damages.
Nursing home staff should be thoroughly trained to handle the various situations they’ll encounter. Nursing aides may not be appropriately trained to timely reposition residents and treat moisture-associated skin damage.
When nursing home staff are inexperienced or simply negligent in their daily obligation to their patients, they could be held liable for the suffering a resident experienced.
A nursing home resident suffering from bedsores can recover monetary damages for the following:
If a loved one suffered a wrongful death from their injuries, the surviving spouse, heirs, or designated beneficiary of the decedent could recover monetary damages for the following:
Non-economic damages for grief, sorrow, and loss of companionship can also be recovered. The personal representative of the decedent’s estate can recover the medical expenses for treatment of the bedsores and their complications.
Other Common Results of Abuse