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Long Beach Nursing Home Attorneys Handling Bedsores
Compassionate help when a loved one is suffering from bedsores in a nursing home in California
Bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers or pressure sores, are painful and potentially life-threatening wounds that develop when there is prolonged pressure on the skin and underlying tissue. Nursing home residents who are immobile or have limited mobility are at high risk for bedsores, and it is the facility's responsibility to provide appropriate care and prevention.
If you or a loved one have developed severe bedsores at a nursing home or assisted living facility, we can help. Talk to the California nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at Garcia & Artigliere to find out all of your legal options regarding your injuries and losses. We have over 30 years of experience and over $3 billion recovered for elderly victims nationwide. Let us help you and your family, too.
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What are bedsores?
Per the Mayo Clinic, bedsores, or pressure ulcers, “are injuries to skin and underlying tissue resulting from prolonged pressure on the skin. Bedsores most often develop on skin that covers bony areas of the body, such as the heels, ankles, hips and tailbone.”
Those most at risk for bedsores are those with medical conditions that limit their ability to change positions, like those in nursing homes or assisted living facilities.
WebMD notes there are four stages of bedsores. These stages are based on how deep the sores are, which affects their treatment.
- Stage 1. This is the mildest stage, where the sores affect only the topmost layer of skin. Symptoms may include pain, burning, and itching. A Stage 1 pressure sore may clear up in as little as two to three days.
- Stage 2. In Stage 2, the sore goes a bit deeper below the surface of your skin. Symptoms include swollen or broken skin, open wounds, or pus-filled blisters. Stage 2 bedsores can take anywhere from three days to three weeks to heal.
- Stage 3. With these types of pressure ulcers, the sores have gone through the skin layer to the fat tissue. Symptoms include signs of infection, a bad odor, heat, or drainage. The tissue around the sore may appear black. These sores need a doctor’s attention.
- Stage 4. Stage 4 bedsores are the most serious, with some even going down to the muscles and ligaments. Symptoms include blackened skin and signs of infection like redness, pus, odor, heat, and drainage. You may even be able to see muscles, tendons, and bone. These types of wounds need immediate medical attention and sometimes surgery. Healing time can range from three months to years, if they heal at all.
A recent study found that US nursing homes are underreporting “the number and severity of pressure ulcers suffered by Medicare residents in U.S. nursing homes is substantially underreported, leading to unreliable data that many consumers use to determine where to receive long- or short-term care.”
Researchers compared data between patient hospital admission data and nursing facility claims for Medicare, and “found that between 2011 and 2017, nursing homes self-reported only 59.7% of hospitalized pressure ulcers between stages 2-4 among long-stay residents.” Worse? Researchers also found that Black nursing home residents suffered from worse bedsores than other residents, reporting that “40.8% of white residents, 50.4% of Black residents and 46.1% of Hispanic residents suffered stage 4 ulcers.”
Why do bedsores happen?
Three main factors contribute to the development of bedsores:
- Pressure. When pressure is applied to the skin for a prolonged period, it can restrict blood flow to the area. This lack of blood flow can damage the skin and underlying tissues.
- Friction. Friction occurs when two surfaces rub against each other. This can cause the skin to break down, leading to the development of a bedsore.
- Shear. Shear occurs when the skin is pulled in one direction while the underlying tissues are pulled in another direction. This can damage the skin and underlying tissues, leading to the development of a bedsore.
In addition to these three main factors, there are several other factors that can increase the risk of developing bedsores, including:
- Immobility. People who are bedridden or unable to move are at increased risk for bedsores.
- Age. Older adults are more likely to develop bedsores because their skin is thinner and less elastic.
- Medical conditions. People with certain medical conditions, such as diabetes or poor circulation, are also at increased risk for bedsores.
- Medications. Some medications, such as steroids, can make the skin more susceptible to bedsores.
- Moisture. Moisture from sweat, urine, or stool can also increase the risk of bedsores.
Bedsores can be prevented by taking steps to reduce pressure on the skin, such as:
- Changing positions frequently. Bedridden people should be repositioned every two hours.
- Using pressure-relieving mattresses or cushions. These devices can help to distribute pressure evenly and reduce the risk of bedsores.
- Keeping the skin clean and dry. Moisture can increase the risk of bedsores, so it is important to keep the skin clean and dry.
- Massaging the skin. Massaging the skin can help to improve circulation and reduce the risk of bedsores.
Who is liable for my Long Beach, California nursing home bedsores claim?
The liable party for a Long Beach nursing home bedsores claim can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case. However, the nursing home itself is often held liable for bedsores that develop in its residents, even if the negligence was not intentional. This is because the nursing home must provide a safe environment for all of its residents, and it can be held responsible if it fails to do so.
In some cases, the individual staff members who were responsible for the resident's care may also be held liable. This is especially likely if the staff members were negligent in their duties or if they acted with intentional malice. However, it is important to note that the nursing home may still be held liable even if the staff members are found to be liable.
If you believe that your loved one has developed bedsores as a result of negligence at a Long Beach nursing home, you should contact our experienced nursing home neglect lawyers as soon as possible. We can help you understand your legal rights and options, and we can represent you in a claim against the nursing home or the staff members who were responsible for your loved one's care.
Here are some of the factors that may be considered when determining liability for bedsores in a nursing home:
- The severity of the bedsores.
- The length of time that the bedsores were allowed to develop.
- The nursing home's policies and procedures for preventing bedsores.
- The nursing home's response to the bedsores.
If you are considering filing a claim for bedsores that developed in a Long Beach nursing home, it is important to speak with the attorneys at Garcia & Artigliere immediately. The statute of limitations for filing a claim in California is two years, so it is important to get in touch with us as soon as possible. Once we take your case, we can help you gather evidence, file the claim, and negotiate a settlement.
Do you have an attorney who handles nursing home bedsore claims near me?
Garcia & Artigliere has offices at 180 E. Ocean Blvd., Suite 1100, Long Beach, CA 90802.
California attorneys handling nursing home bedsore claims
If you or a loved one have suffered from painful and preventable bedsores due to nursing home negligence, don't wait another moment to take action. At Garcia & Artigliere, we are committed to fighting for justice and holding nursing homes accountable for their actions. Call our Long Beach offices or fill out our contact form today.
We only collect attorney fees if we win your case. Our nursing home neglect lawyers serve families throughout the U.S. from our other offices in Louisville, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and New Orleans. Our services are available in both English and Spanish.
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