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Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys Handling Bedsore Claims
Strong representation for seniors who suffer from pressure ulcers
Nursing homes should be held accountable when their residents suffer from bedsores, also called pressure ulcers. Bedsores are a well-known complication for seniors who cannot easily move while lying in their beds, wheelchairs, or stationary chairs. When routine checks are made and the resident is repositioned, bedsores can be avoided. Bedsores are skin and tissue disorders caused by prolonged pressure on the skin. Bedsores often occur on the skin that covers a resident’s bony areas – such as the hips, ankles, ankles, and heels.
At Garcia & Artigliere, our seasoned nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys have the experience and resources to show that the nursing home staff failed to prevent bedsores, failed to look for bedsores, and failed to properly treat bedsores. Untreated, bedsores can be painful, become infected, and cause complications including death. Our lawyers have more than 150 years of collective experience. We’ve helped secure more than $3 billion in recoveries for people across the country.
Elder abuse attorney Stephen M. Garcia obtained multiple seven-figure verdicts and well over $200,000,000 in recovery for elder and dependent adults who suffered from pressure sores in a long term setting.
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How can we help?
- Why do bedsores happen?
- Why are nursing home residents at risk of bedsores?
- What are the symptoms of bedsores?
- What complications can arise from bedsores?
- What are the stages of bedsores?
- What are the treatments for bedsores?
- What damages can nursing home residents with bedsores claim?
- Do you have a bedsores attorney near me?
Why do bedsores happen?
According to the Mayo Clinic, bedsores occur when pressure against the skin limits blood flow to the skin. The main factors that cause bedsores include:
- Pressure. The skin and tissues need oxygen and other nutrients. The constant pressure on a body part reduces the flow of blood which delivers the oxygen and nutrients. For nursing home residents, pressure damage generally occurs where the bones don’t have enough muscle or fat – such as the shoulder blades, spine, elbows, heels, hips, and tailbone. Other bedsore locations include the backs of arms and legs, the back or sides of the head, and the skin behind the knees.
- Friction. The skin may become more vulnerable to injury where the skin rubs against bedding or clothing.
- Shear. “Shear occurs when two surfaces move in the opposite direction. For example, when a bed is elevated at the head, you can slide down in bed. As the tailbone moves down, the skin over the bone might stay in place — essentially pulling in the opposite direction.”
Why are nursing home residents at risk of bedsores?
Nursing home residents are often at risk of bedsores because their medical conditions and age can make movement difficult. Some residents may stay in the same spot for hours on end – even when they’re awake.
Some of the reasons nursing home residents are prone to bedsores is a lack of mobility due to surgery, the need for bedrest or the use of a wheelchair, a coma, paralysis, or sedation. Older people have skin that is usually dry, thin, and less elastic than the skin of young people.
Some diseases make it hard for residents of nursing homes to move, including Alzheimer’s or dementia, diabetes, incontinence which increases friction and the risk of infections, muscle spasms, malnutrition and dehydration, smoking, and neurological disorders.
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, one in 10 nursing home residents has suffered a bedsore.
What are the symptoms of bedsores?
The Mayo Clinic states that some of the signs of bedsores or pressure ulcers are:
- Unusual changes in the color or texture of the skin
- Pus-like draining
- Skin that is warmer or colder than the rest of the body
What complications can arise from bedsores?
Bedsore complications, according to the Mayo Clinic, include:
- Cellulitis. This is a skin and soft tissue infection that may cause inflammation, swelling, and warmth. Residents with nerve damage may not even know they have cellulitis.
- Bone and joint infections. Some infections can burrow into the joints and bones. “Joint infections (septic arthritis) can damage cartilage and tissue. Bone infections (osteomyelitis) can reduce the function of joints and limbs.”
- Cancer. Wounds that don’t heal can develop into squamous cell carcinoma.
- Sepsis. Rarely, skin ulcers can cause sepsis which can damage healthy tissues and organs, and cause septic shock. Sepsis can be fatal.
What are the stages of bedsores?
Bedsores are classified into four different stages according to the Cleveland Clinic:
- Stage 1. The skin is purple or red but there isn’t an open wound.
- Stage 2. A shallow wound with a pink or red base develops.” Some loss of skin, abrasions, and blisters may occur.
- Stage 3. A noticeable wound occurs which may go into the fatty skin layer of the resident.
- Stage 4: The wound penetrates the three layers of skin, exposing muscles, tendons, and bones.
Bedsores should be examined by a competent physician.
What are the treatments for bedsores?
The treatments for bedsores include reducing the pressure on the skin care, wound care, managing pain, preventing infection, and good nutrition. Different healthcare professionals may treat nursing home residents with bedsores including a primary care doctor, a doctor or nurse that specializes in wound care, physical and occupational therapists, a dermatologist, a dietician, and other specialists including a neurosurgeon, a vascular surgeon, an orthopedic surgeon, or a plastic surgeon.
Treatment usually begins with repositioning the resident on a regular basis and adjustments to support surfaces to protect vulnerable skin. Other treatments include cleaning and dressing wounds, removing damaged tissue, medications, a healthy diet, and surgery.
What damages can nursing home residents with bedsores claim?
Nursing homes should be held accountable for any bedsores and bedsore complications that develop due to their negligence. At Garcia & Artigliere, our nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers file claims on behalf of bedsore victims and their families. We review the resident’s medical needs with our network of physicians and so we assert your/their legal rights. We seek damages for the resident’s medical bills, pain and suffering, the cost to move to a safer facility, and other damages the law permits.
Do you have a bedsores attorney near me?
Garcia & Artigliere represents nursing home residents who have bedsores across the United States. We are experienced trial lawyers who will fight to obtain all the compensation the resident or the resident’s family deserves.
Call Garcia & Artigliere today when a nursing resident is experiencing any type of pressure ulcer
Nursing homes and their staff know that bedsores are a major health risk for their residents. When a nursing home fails to routinely look for bedsores, reposition residents, and promptly contact skilled medical professionals who diagnose and treat bedsores; the nursing home and staff should be held liable for any harm they cause the resident or any deaths the cause. At Garcia & Artigliere, our nursing home bedsore lawyers are the firm many residents and personal injury lawyers choose. To schedule a free consultation, call us or contact our offices today. We have offices in California, Louisiana, and Arizona today. We serve clients throughout the country. There are no upfront costs and no attorney fees unless we win.
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