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Indiana Nursing Home Bed Sores Injury Lawyer
Bed sores, also known as pressure sores, can lead to serious health problems, including death.
Bed sores, decubitus ulcers, pressure ulcers — all of these terms refer to preventable, potentially fatal skin ulcers that develop from a lack of movement. Nursing home neglect is the number one cause of bed sores, as they are a result of poor circulation to an area. When patients are not positioned properly, bed sores can develop in a matter of hours. Our nursing home bed sore attorneys have seen the unfortunate outcome of neglect at nursing homes, and we can help seek justice for those whose loved ones suffer from bed sores.
Pressure sores afflict a high percentage of patients who aren’t mobile and are not repositioned frequently. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Qualityreports that, every year, more than 2.5 million people develop bed sores, at a cost of over $10 billion in care. Additionally, over 34,000 people die from infection and various complications arising from bed sores each year. According to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control(CDC), about one in nine nursing home residents—11 percent—suffered from pressure ulcers in a recent year.
Pressure sores can easily be avoided with the right care. That’s why you should talk to a nursing home bed sores attorney if your loved one suffers from these sores.
Pressure sores are painful, and your loved one is suffering when they develop bed sores that are out of their control. As a skin integrity problem that shouldn’t occur with quality care, pressure sores cause harm to your loved one because of negligent care. You can fight for your loved one’s rights, and our nursing home bed sores lawyer can help. Call us today at (317) 680-2501 for immediate help.
Body Sites To Check For Bed Sores
Pressure sores are caused by unrelenting pressure on skin, forming in areas where the skin covers bony protrusions, folds over onto itself, or is under pressure from an external source, such as with oxygen tubing on facial areas. Look for skin that is pink or turning red, as this is the first sign a pressure sore is developing. Common areas where pressure sores develop include:
- Shoulders/shoulder blades
- Backs of the arms
- Backs of the legs
- Back of the head
- Behind the knees
- Inner knees
- Cheeks and face and near ears, when oxygen tubing is in use.
Bed Sore Progression Stages And Their Treatment
It is imperative that you get help for your loved one as soon as you recognize bed sores are beginning to develop. To find out if you have a legal case, talk to our experienced Indiana bed sores lawyer. We can explain your options and will keep you informed at every step in the legal process.
Bed sores have four stages, with stage 1 being the least serious:
- Stage 1: The skin is not broken, nor is there an open sore. A persistently red area may hurt, itch, feel hot or cool, or spongy or firm. Skin can also appear bluish, purple, or ashen in those with darker skin tones. Sores at this stage heal quickly if the source of the pressure is removed. When good nursing care is provided at this stage, a pressure sore can heal readily. This often requires frequent bathing and hourly repositioning to reduce pressure on the area.
- Stage 2: The skin is broken, blistered, abraded, or compromised in some way. Nearby areas may be discolored. Stage 2 sores can heal quickly with prompt treatment and if the person has no other significant problems that affect wound healing, such as diabetes. Treatments can include antibiotic ointments, bandaging, and the relieving of pressure. Cleaning the wound on a frequent basis will also help the wound heal. It is painful at this point, and the patient is suffering because they have not been cared for properly.
- Stage 3: The sore has moved beyond the surface of the skin into the muscle; it is now extremely painful and challenging to heal. Surgery can be required, along with antibiotic IVs. The cavity-like wound signals permanently destroyed tissue. When a wound gets to this stage, the amount of neglect the patient has sustained is often severe. It takes time for a stage 3 pressure sore to develop.
- Stage 4: The sore has destroyed muscle, bone, and perhaps joints and tendons. Such sores are nearly impossible to heal and are often fatal because of infection.
Hopefully, your loved one is not suffering from severe bed sores. Such skin ulcers can be fatal if left untreated. If you believe neglect led to the bed sores your loved one suffers in a nursing home, get help from our nursing home bed sores attorney. Call us today at (317) 680-2501.
Bed Sore Prevention in Indiana Nursing Homes
Prevention Is the Best Medicine When It Comes to Pressure Sores
Daily checking of pressure areas and prompt, appropriate treatment of sores that do develop are the best ways to stop serious problems before they start. Improved nutrition (plenty of red, orange, and deep green vegetables) and supplements such as Vitamin C and zinc can also help the body heal faster.
Other actions that can help prevent sores are:
- Repositioning the patient at least every two hours in bed or every 30 minutes in a wheelchair. Frequent repositioning can be problematical, however, especially at night or when the patient is actively recovering from surgery or an accident.
- Using special beds, pillows, and mattresses, often those made with gel or foam or are filled with air, that are meant to alleviate pressure can be helpful.
- Providing leg support that prevents the limbs from pressing on each other. Tenting bedclothes over the toes and using heel pads can also help.
Bed Sores Are Avoidable, Which is Why You Can Bring a Bed sores Lawsuit.
As painful and dangerous as they are, bed sores do not have to be an inevitable result of remaining bedridden or wheelchair-bound. Nursing homes usually perform something called the Daily Skin Assessment (or the Wound Care Assessment, where pressure sores are already present). Both of these are a recognized standard of care. If both assessments are performed regularly and properly, staff will easily be able to detect problems and take steps to prevent sores from worsening or from developing in the first place.
When a nursing home’s staff does not follow the accepted standard of care, then pressure sores develop or worsen. Not following the standard of care can be considered grounds for negligence. Ignoring bed sores can even be considered abuse under certain circumstances. Talk to our nursing home bed sores attorney about your loved one’s injuries. There may be clear evidence that neglect caused the bed sores. Our team will take on insurers for you so you and your loved one get the compensation you deserve. If your case goes to court, count on our nursing home bed sores attorney to give you aggressive representation. We are skilled and experienced litigators.
Bed sores Are Easy to Spot When the Standard of Care is Met
When nursing home staff are properly caring for residents who are bedridden or in wheelchairs, bed sores are noticed quickly. If the nursing home is short-staffed, it is likely that residents will not be repositioned as often as they should be. For people who are not able to roll over in bed to eliminate the pressure on an area, bed sores will develop quickly. Nursing homes that provide consistent treatment will have a low incidence rate for bed sores.
The higher the stage of bed sore development, the harder it is to heal the sores. Complications go up the worse the sore is, and the pain suffered by the patient is needless. If your loved one shows signs of bed sores, then they are not receiving appropriate care and deserve better treatment. Patients who experience bed sores over a period of time are not getting their skin checked on a regular basis.
Contact the bed sores attorneys at Stephenson Rife for help. Our compassionate team understands that seeing your loved one suffer at the hands of caretakers is distressing, and we want you to get the justice you deserve. Call us today at (317) 680-2501 to find out if you have a case.
When Others Breach Their Duty, Our Nursing Home Bed Sore Attorneys Keep Ours.
Many nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Indiana are part of a larger chain, in the field to make money. Patient safety often takes a back seat to shareholder profits. They have a full-time legal department and resources to routinely dispute abuse and neglect claims, and this includes the development of bed sores.
If you suspect a nursing home has been neglectful or abusive to your loved one as evidenced by pressure sore injuries, contact Mike Stephenson. At Stephenson Rife we will work with you to hold the facility accountable for the pain and suffering they caused. Your elderly loved ones deserve to live in safety and dignity. A lawsuit against an Indiana nursing home won’t undo what has already been done, but it can recover the large sums of money you have paid the negligent facility and any medical expenses caused by the abuse.
The Indiana nursing home lawyers at Stephenson Rife have been trusted advisors and proven advocates since 1982. Call (317) 680-2501, or use our online contact form, for a free consultation if your elderly loved one has suffered injury or death from pressure sores.
At Stephenson Rife, we believe justice matters.