Nursing Home Bed Sores
The formation of bedsores is often a result of neglect from a nursing home or even malpractice by a nurse or other health care providers. The american tribunal systems have noticed an escalation in nursing home abuse lawsuits associated with bed sores.
Filing a lawsuit will ensure that federal laws have been followed and provide protection for you and your loved one.
What is bedsore and who is at risk?
Bed sores are often referred to as pressure sores, decubitus ulcers, pressure ulcers or pressure sores, are abrasions in the skin that are the consequence of continual pressure on bony prominences of the body such as the tailbone, shoulder blades, spine, back of the head, hips, ankles, elbows and heels.
Continuous pressure on these areas decreases the flow of blood and oxygen, which thus causes the tissue to die.
Elderly residents in nursing homes are most often fragile with poor mobility and thus repeatedly spend prolonged hours in the same position be it in bed or a wheelchair.
Upon entrusting a loved one in the care of doctors, or health care providers, it expected that the manner in which care is provided prevents the development and evolvement of bed sores.
Bedsores most often develop over time. Below are the stages in which they are categorized by degree and depth of involvement
- “Stage 1 Pressure Sore” include irritation to the surface of the skin “
- “Stage 2 Pressure Sore” involve blisters or shallow craters where the outer layers of skin die
- “Stage 3 Pressure Sore” affect the deeper layers of skin and often appear as open and bleeding wounds
- “Stage 4 Pressure Sore” considered the most severe stage, where the pressure ulcer has gone through all layers of skin, exposing muscle and bones
Throughout the early stages of development, the bedsore is can be easily treated with repositioning and with the use of pressure relieving medical devices such as boots, heel protectors, and special mattresses.
However, by the last two stages, the condition deteriorates and can take months to heal, if at all. Without appropriate treatment, minor bedsore can become infected, leading to severe medical conditions and death.
The development of a bedsore is by no means the fault of the elder patient, but rather an act of negligence by the medical staff and the nursing facility.
Regrettably, we must hear the same old tune where facilities justify their actions by using the same mantra of “nursing homes being understaffed.” Per Medicare data, the average cost of pressure sore treatment is over $40,000.00.
The Center for Disease Control reports 11% of nursing home patients to have at least one bedsore.
Whether shortage of staff is the issue or not, patients of nursing homes are bound to wait longer for care, be it for repositioning, or the changing of soiled linens and clothes.
Bear in mind that these elders were entrusted to nursing facilities so as to receive care that either they could not provide for themselves or a family member was unable to do. Consequently, while the elderly resident is forced wait soiled in their urine, their skin is being deteriorated by the moisture making them prone to bedsores
Federal regulations are inflexible about preventing, documenting and treating bedsores. Nursing homes and hospitals are compelled by law to determine individuals at risk for bed sores.
Procedures of care plan implementation should be in place and readily accessible to nursing staff.
These bed sores can be prevented if nursing homes are vigilant with their care and monitoring procedures. Simple gestures such as frequent repositioning and turning of a patient will alleviate the continual pressure on the risk of sites.
Reports present the following settlements
- An 88-year-old woman in Delaware experienced the development of bedsores which advanced to become dangerously infected. Filing a lawsuit awarded the resident and her family a $2.3 million bedsore settlement.
- A $1 million bedsore settlement was awarded to A quadriplegic nursing home resident who developed bedsores in the interim of his residency in an Illinois nursing home.
- An 88-year-old elderly resident endured surgery, prolonged hospitalization, and an extensive wound care treatment after developing numerous infected bed sores. He was awarded a $1 million bed sore settlement.
Why file a lawsuit
Bed sores are not only painful and crippling, but can have an annihilating long-term effect on the quality of life for your loved one.
Nursing home abuse simply cannot be condoned. It is not acceptable that a loved elder develops debilitating bedsore while in the care of professionals. It is our obligation to advocate for victimized elders of a nursing home.
If you or a loved one have experienced the negligent behavior of a nursing home through a bedsore, call our investigating lawyers for a free case evaluation now.