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When you trust your loved one to the care of others, it can be extremely frustrating and painful to discover they are not receiving the attention and kindness they deserve. Every nursing home patient has the right to expect competent care, and if a facility or staff fails to provide such care, they should be held liable for the results of their negligence. In a nursing home, one of the most prevalent consequences of physical negligence or abuse is the development of bedsores. Bedsores are painful and can lead to the development of serious health issues if left untreated. If you or a loved one is suffering from bedsores as a result of nursing home abuse, we want to help.
Our Columbus bedsore injury attorneys at Rourke & Blumenthal are passionate about advocating for victims of abuse. With over 150 years of combined legal experience, our firm has the skills and knowledge necessary to fight for a positive outcome for you and your family. We have recovered more than $300 million on behalf of our clients, and we look forward to helping you next.
What Are Bedsores?
Bedsores occur as the result of a lack of movement in bedridden patients. When too much pressure rests on areas where bones protrude, such as the hips or tailbone, sensitive areas may develop in the skin around the irritated area.
Like with burn injuries, there are different stages of bedsores, including:
- Stage 1 bedsores, which are not yet open wounds, though the damaged skin will likely be red and may feel painful and warm to the touch.
- Stage 2 bedsores, which will have broken open, or may look like a scrape or blister. They may also develop into painful ulcers, sometimes causing areas of the damaged skin to die.
- Stage 3 bedsores, which will have significantly worsened in appearance and will likely be even more painful. The soft tissue under the skin will be damaged, leaving the injured area with crater-like open sores.
- Stage 4 bedsores, which will be very deep, usually reaching muscle or bone. At this point, the damage is often so severe that the patient may not even feel the pain because the damaged tissue has died.
While bedsores may develop anywhere a person regularly rests their weight, they occur more frequently along the spine, or on the buttocks area, shoulder blades, back of the head, or hips. Bedsores may also lead to other serious complications, including infections.
Possible infections caused by bedsores include:
- Squamous cell carcinoma, a cancer
- Joint or bone infections
- Bacterial infections
In very severe cases, some infections may require surgeries, or skin or muscle grafts.
How Do Bedsores Develop in Nursing Homes?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that as many as 1 out of every 10 nursing home residents suffers from bedsores. These painful ulcers develop when a bedridden person is not repositioned enough, which may happen if a nursing home staff member or care provider neglects his or her patients. Whether the patient spends the majority of his or her time on the couch, in bed, or in a wheelchair, it is crucial to stimulate movement or reposition frequently in order to prevent bedsores.
Who May be Liable?
If a nurse, doctor, or caretaker does not give bedridden patients frequent attention, bedsores may easily develop. Patients at risk for bedsores should be provided with foam padding or pillows to alleviate pressure, should always have clean, dry clothing and bedding, and should receive close attention.
In some cases, bedsores may develop even when patients receive proper care. However, even if the patient developed the sores while receiving suitable consideration, the caretaker should still see to it that the nursing home patient receives medical attention to prevent the condition from worsening. Failure to monitor residents is as much a fault as causing the injury in the first place.
Fight Back against Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect
Bedsores can be exceedingly painful, and in some cases can develop into serious infections, or may even lead to aggressive cancers like squamous cell carcinoma. If you find your loved one has developed bedsores, and you suspect the nursing home they reside in is at fault, you may have a personal injury claim. Our Columbus nursing home abuse lawyers at Rourke & Blumenthal may be able to help you recover compensation for damages, including medical bills and pain and suffering.
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