LA Bedsores


Phoenix Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Handling Bedsore Claims

150+ combined years of experience fighting for nursing residents who develop pressure sores

Bedsores, also known as pressure sores, happen when residents stay in one position such as a bed, a wheelchair, or a comfortable chair for too long. Nursing homes in Phoenix know bedsores are a common problem and should have procedures in place to regularly move and position the residents so bedsores do not develop.

At Garcia & Artigliere, our Phoenix nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers have been fighting for seniors and younger nursing home residents in Arizona since 1993. Our attorneys understand what steps nursing homes must take to prevent pressure sores from occurring and what steps to take to ensure any bedsores don’t develop complications such as infections. If not treated properly, bedsores can be fatal.

Elder abuse and neglect lawyer Stephen M. Garcia has helped many people nationwide obtain full compensation for their injuries. In one illustrative bedsore case, he obtained a long-term settlement for $2.4 million for an elderly resident of a Fresno County nursing home.  In another case, he obtained a $2.2 million settlement for a senior in Kentucky whose leg had to be amputated and who suffered pressure sores and gangrene due to elder abuse by a Kentucky nursing home.



What are bedsores?

Johns Hopkins Medicine defines bedsores as ulcers that occur on parts of the skin that are under pressure when a person is bedridden, immobile (such as sitting in a wheelchair), or unable to sense pain. Bedsores are also called pressure sores. They are a common problem for frail older adults who are not “turned, positioned correctly, and given good nutrition and skin care… People with diabetes, circulation problems, and poor nutrition are at higher risk.”

Why do residents of nursing homes in Phoenix develop bedsores?

Bedsores occur when the supply of blood to the skin is cut off for more than two to three hours. When the skin dies, the bedsore is likely to start as a red, painful area – which can turn purple. If the bedsore is not treated, the skin can break open and become infected.

Bedsores can extend into bone and muscle. Bedsores normally take a long time to heal. Depending on the health of a Phoenix nursing home resident and the presence of diabetes or other disease, the healing time may be days, months, or years. Bowel and bladder disorders, malnutrition and dehydration, emotional problems, and neurological disorders can also contribute to the development of bedsores and bedsore complications. Surgery may be necessary to help the healing process

Pressure sores often occur in the buttocks (on the tailbone or hips), the shoulder blades, the heels of the feet, the back of the head, and the sides and backs of the knees.

Nursing homes should recognize all the reasons a resident may not be mobile, including difficulty walking, the medications that are prescribed, sleeping too long, or being in the same spot too long for any reason. Residents with dementia, Alzheimer’s, or other cognitive impairments may not even know that they should move.

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What are the stages and symptoms of bedsores?

John Hopkins says that the severity of bedsores is divided into the following four stages:

  • Stage 1.The affected area is red and warm to the touch. For those with darker skin, the affected area may be blue or purple. The resident may complain that the area itches, burns, or hurts.
  • Stage 2.The affected area appears more damaged. There may be evidence of an open sore, blister, or scrape. The resident will likely complain of a great amount of pain. The skin around the wound may change color.
  • Stage 3. The affected area has a “crater-like appearance due to damage below the skin’s surface.”
  • Stage 4. The affected area is now severely damaged. A large wound will be present. The bones, muscles, joints, and tendons can be involved. The risk of infection is much higher in stage 4.

Bedsores require professional medical care.

What dangerous complications can develop from bedsores?

Johns Hopkins states that the main complications are a long healing time. Other complications include infections which can cause chills and fever. “As the infection spreads through your body, it can also cause mental confusion, a fast heartbeat, and generalized weakness.”

The Mayo Clinic states that bedsore complications include cellulitis (an infection of the skin and soft tissue), joint and bone infections (which can develop into septic arthritis and osteomyelitis), squamous cell carcinoma (cancer) and sepsis (which can damage healthy organs and tissues, and may be fatal).

What are the treatments for bedsores in Phoenix?

The treatments for bedsores require experienced healthcare providers and wound care specialists. Treatment becomes more difficult if the skin is broken. Possible treatments include:

  • Removing the pressure on the affected area
  • Using a medicated gauze or other special dressing to protect the wound
  • Keeping the wound clean
  • Ensuring the resident has a good diet
  • “Removing the damaged, infected, or dead tissue (debridement)”
  • Using skin grafts to transplant healthy skin to the wounded area
  • “Negative pressure wound therapy
  • Antibiotics and other medications

In some cases, surgery may be necessary.

Some of the medical providers may include wound care specialists, dermatologists, neurosurgeons, vascular surgeons, orthopedists, plastic surgeons, physical therapists, and occupational therapists.

How can nursing homes prevent bedsores in Phoenix?

John Hopkins Medicine recommends that the resident’s skin should be regularly inspected for signs of redness – every day – paying attention to the bony areas.

Other preventive measures include:

  • Repositioning the resident every two hours; every 15 minutes for residents in wheelchairs
  • Ensuring that wheelchairs and beds have soft padding to reduce pressure
  • Providing quality skin that keeps the skin clean and dry
  • “Providing good nutrition because without enough calories, vitamins, minerals, fluids, and protein, bed sores can’t heal.”

What is the value of a bedsore claim in Arizona?

Bedsores can be prevented. Nursing homes in Phoenix that allow pressure sores to develop should be held accountable for any bedsores and complications that develop due to their neglect.

At Garcia & Artigliere, we demand full compensation for any bedsores that residents develop. Compensation includes all of the resident’s current and future:

  • Medical costs, including the expenses of all the healthcare providers that may need to help the resident
  • Physical pain and emotional suffering
  • Loss of quality of life
  • The cost to move the resident to another nursing home if necessary

We work with doctors who are experienced at treating and testifying about bedsores, including explaining every way the bedsores affect every aspect of the resident’s life

Do you have a bedsores attorney near me?

Garcia & Artigliere represents nursing home residents in Phoenix and nationwide when bedsores develop. We’ve helped thousands of seniors obtain strong settlements and verdicts.

Speak with the experienced Arizona pressure sore lawyers at Call Garcia & Artigliere now

Nursing homes know in advance that most of their patients need to be monitored for bedsores and treated competently if bedsores develop. Each nursing home should have bedsore safety procedures starting with routinely moving residents who are in one place for too long. Physicians who diagnose and treat bedsores should be contacted immediately.

At Garcia & Artigliere, our Phoenix nursing home bedsore lawyers are ready now to assert the rights of residents who develop bedsores and the families of residents who die due to bedsores. To schedule a free case evaluation, call us or contact us now. We maintain additional offices in Los Angeles, Long Beach, Louisville, and New Orleans. There are no upfront charges. Our compensation depends on the success of your claim.

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