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New Orleans Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Handling Bedsore Claims
Holding nursing homes in Louisiana accountable for failing to prevent or treat pressure sores
Bedsores are a very common problem in nursing homes. They happen when a resident stays in the same position for too long. Bedsores, also called pressure sores or pressure ulcers, can be easily avoided if the nursing home staff repositions or moves residents who stay in bed too long or in a chair or wheelchair for too long. New Orleans nursing homes should regularly require that their staff know when residents can’t move or won’t move on their own due to physical, cognitive, or emotional problems, and take the time to move them.
At Garcia & Artigliere, our New Orleans nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers have more than 150 years of combined experience fighting for seniors and for anyone else who needs to be in a nursing home. We understand the standard procedures nursing homes should use to identify when residents should be repositioned and what treatments should be used in the event bedsores do develop. Untreated bedsores can develop infections. Bedsores may be fatal.
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How can we help?
- What is a bedsore?
- What causes bedsores in New Orleans nursing homes?
- What are the stages and symptoms of pressure sores?
- What complications can arise if bedsores are not treated properly?
- How are bedsores treated in New Orleans?
- What steps should nursing homes in New Orleans take to prevent bedsores?
- How much is a Louisiana bedsore claim worth?
- Do you have a bedsores lawyer near me?
What is a bedsore?
Bedsores, according to the prestigious Johns Hopkins Medicine, are skin ulcers that appear due to pressure on parts of the skin when a person is immobile, bedridden, or unable to sense pain. Bedsores are common among seniors who are not positioned and repositioned correctly and who don’t receive good skin care and nutrition. The risk factors for bedsores include circulation problems and diabetes – common problems for many nursing home residents.
What causes bedsores in New Orleans nursing homes?
Bedsores happen because the supply of blood to the skin is cut off for several hours. As a result, the skin starts to die. Bedsores start as red painful areas that can turn purple. Untreated bedsores can become infected. Untreated pressure sores can damage the resident’s muscles and bones. The healing time, especially among seniors, can take months or even years.
Bedsores often occur in the heels of the feet, the back and sides of the knee, the shoulder blades, the tailbone, the hip, and the back of the head. Complications include bladder and bowel disorders, dehydration and malnutrition, neurological disorders, and emotional problems. Some bedsores may require surgery.
Nursing homes in New Orleans should know the risk factors for developing bedsores such as sleeping too long, staying glued to a chair or wheelchair, certain illnesses, and some medications that may cause drowsiness. Nursing home residents with Alzheimer’s, dementia, or other cognitive impairments usually don’t understand that they need to move, which is why the nursing home staff needs to help them.
Elder abuse and neglect lawyer Stephen M. Garcia understands the unique issues involved with representing residents who suffer bedsores. In one sample case, he obtained a $2.4 million settlement for an elderly California nursing home resident who suffered bedsores. In another case, attorney Garcia obtained a $2.2 million settlement for a Kentucky senior when abuse by a Kentucky nursing home caused bedsores and gangrene which ultimately required that the senior’s leg be amputated.
What are the stages and symptoms of pressure sores?
According to John Hopkins Medicine, there are four stages of bedsores. The sooner the nursing home intervenes, the better.
- Stage 1.The skin is warm and red. People with darker complexions may have purple or blue skin. Other symptoms include itching, burns, and pain.
- Stage 2.The skin area looks worse. The resident may have a blister, scrape, or open sore wound. The level of pain increases. The skin color may change from stage 1.
- Stage 3. The bedsore area has a “crater-like appearance due to damage below the skin's surface.”
- Stage 4. The damage is now very severe. The joints, muscles, bones, and tendons may be damaged. There’s a higher risk of infection.
Residents with bedsores should be examined by physicians who understand bedsore diagnosis and the best medical treatments.
What complications can arise if bedsores are not treated properly?
The biggest challenge with bedsores is that they can take a long time to heal. Seniors especially need more time to heal. Infections can cause fever, chills, and other health problems. If the infection spreads, the New Orleans nursing home resident may experience weakness, a fast heartbeat, and mental confusion.
The Mayo Clinic adds the following complications:
- Cellulitis, a skin and tissue infection.
- Joint and bone infections that can develop into osteomyelitis and septic arthritis.
- Cancer in the form of squamous cell carcinoma.
- Sepsis, a disease that can damage healthy tissues and organs and tissues. Sepsis may be fatal.
How are bedsores treated in New Orleans?
The treatments for bedsores become harder to control the more the skin is broken. Physicians and wound care specialists will use some of the following treatments:
- Removing pressure on the affected skin
- Keeping the wound clean
- Using a medicated gauze or other special dressing
- Removing any infected, damaged, or dead tissue (debridement)
- Making sure the resident eats nutritiously
- Using skin grafts to transplant healthy skin to the wounded area
- Using antibiotics and other medications
- “Negative pressure wound therapy”
Surgery may help in some cases.
The care providers may include wound care specialists, neurosurgeons, dermatologists, orthopedists, vascular surgeons, plastic surgeons, occupational therapists, and physical therapists.
What steps should nursing homes in New Orleans take to prevent bedsores?
Each day each resident’s skin should be examined for signs of redness – with a special focus on the bony areas.
Prevention, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine, also includes:
- Repositioning the resident every two hours. Residents in wheelchairs should be repositioned every 15 minutes.
- Examining the beds and wheelchairs to ensure they have soft padding and exert minimal pressure on the skin.
- Providing skin care regularly.
- Ensuring that the resident’s diet has a proper amount of vitamins, minerals, proteins, calories, and fluids – to help any existing bedsores heal.
How much is a Louisiana bedsore claim worth?
Nursing homes know how to prevent bedsores. When bedsores do develop, they should know what treatments they can provide and when the resident needs professional medical care.
At Garcia & Artigliere, we seek compensation for all of the resident’s injuries and expenses, including:
- Medical bills for ER care, physician care, surgeries, hospitalizations, rehabilitative therapy, medications, and assistive devices
- Daily physical pain and emotional suffering
- Loss of quality of life
- Loss of bodily function such as an amputation
- The cost to move the resident to a different nursing home if necessary
We work with physicians who can explain the pain the resident is experiencing and what treatments may help a resident who has bedsores.
Do you have a bedsores lawyer near me?
Garcia & Artigliere fights for New Orleans nursing home residents who develop bedsores. We’ve helped thousands of clients including many nursing home residents obtain strong settlements and verdicts.
Contact the experienced bedsore lawyers at Garcia & Artigliere in Louisiana today
Bedsore management should be routine. Every resident of a New Orleans nursing home is at risk, and many have a high risk. The preventive steps and treatments are well-known. Repositioning residents is a simple thing to do. At Garcia & Artigliere, our New Orleans nursing home bedsore lawyers have already helped numerous nursing home residents successfully assert their rights. Many bedsore claims do settle. We’re always ready to try your case in court. To schedule a free case evaluation, call us or contact us today. We maintain additional offices in Long Beach, Los Angeles, New Orleans and Phoenix, and represent seniors across the United States. There are no upfront charges. We only receive payment if your claim is successful.
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