Bedsores May Indicate Negligence or Abuse

Also known as decubitus ulcers, pressure sores, or bedsores, pressure ulcers are caused by the continuous pressure of an individual’s body weight on a particular area. This breakdown of the skin is most common in the elderly or infirm, but it can also happen to otherwise able-bodied individuals who are bedridden or immobile due to treatment. If you see bedsores on your loved one, it is a sign you may need to talk with a Philadelphia Nursing Home Injury Lawyer.

Bedsores are preventable with proper care. Relieving pressure with regular repositioning and special cushions can redistribute body weight and refresh the skin and trouble areas, which usually include the spine, tailbone, shoulder blades, hips, elbows, and other areas that aren’t well-padded with muscle and fat. Further, proper nutritional and sanitary care can decrease the risk of pressure ulcers.

If a patient is being cared for properly, they are unlikely to develop severe pressure sores. As such, this ailment is typically a sign of neglect or abuse in nursing homes or hospitals.

We encourage anyone who suspects abuse or neglect in these environments to contact Gay Chacker & Ginsburg Trial Lawyers today!

mature adult in wheelchair

Pressure Ulcer Stages

Significant bedsores do not develop overnight. In their early stages, pressure ulcers are easy to address and alleviate. As sores increase in seriousness, however, they pose more significant health risks.

Stage 1 pressure sores are characterized by a persistent area of skin redness without a break in the skin. This redness is similar to the lines you may have on your face after a nap, but it will not clear up immediately when the pressure is removed.

Stage 2 sores appear as a blister, abrasion, or shallow crater in the skin.

Stage 3 pressure ulcers cause skin’s thickness to be lost. The innermost layer of skin (subcutaneous tissues) will be exposed, and the wound will appear as a deep crater.

Stage 4 bedsores represent a total loss of skin thickness. This is the most serious stage of pressure sore and it can expose muscle and/or bone.

If a patient develops a Stage 4 pressure sore, they have been in the same position so long that their skin has effectively disintegrated. For this to occur, nursing home or hospital staff much be extremely negligent.

If you or someone you know develops a pressure sore, make sure to report it to your nursing home and the proper authorities as soon as possible.

You should also contact our experienced pressure ulcer attorneys ASAP.

Risk Factors

Immobile patients have the greatest risk of developing pressure sores because they cannot adjust their body weight independently. Other factors that increase the risk of developing ulcers include recent weight loss and incontinence (an inability to control bladder or bowel movements).

Nursing home staff must evaluate these risks, make comprehensive care plans that consider changes to weight and mobility, and keep conditions sanitary at all times. Tragically, many decubitus ulcer lawsuits include allegations of the victim sitting in their own urine and feces.

Failure to Prevent Pressure Sores

Whether they are in a hospital or a nursing home, each patient deserves personalized care and attention. Checking in a few times per day to rotate someone’s body, make sure they are clean and dry, and help them with nutrition can prevent bedsores outright.

Care providers have a strict responsibility to do all of these things. If they fail to do so, and their failure leads to injury, injured patients may be entitled to compensation.

Complications of Pressure Ulcers

Stage 3 or 4 pressure sores can cause several other skin conditions and health problems. In some cases, these infections are life-threatening. Complications may include:

  • Cellulitis
  • Blood poisoning
  • Bone and joint infection
  • Necrotizing fasciitis

Many of the patients who are most vulnerable to bedsores are also more susceptible to the conditions listed above and elderly people can have their lives shortened or ended by these diseases and infections.

Pressure sores are a serious problem that require serious legal action.

Our Firm Handles Major Injuries

At Gay Chacker & Ginsburg Trial Lawyers, we understand how much a serious pressure sore can affect your quality of life. These wounds are not only extremely painful but can result in more complex, long-term conditions. In elderly individuals, a pressure ulcer may even shorten someone’s life span or lead to fatal complications.

If you or someone you love has developed a bedsore due to the negligence of a nursing home or other provider, our firm can help you pursue the compensation you need to pay medical bills and cope with your injuries.

To get the resources you need to recover, please contact us at 215-567-7955 or request a consultation online.