If a nursing home resident receives proper care, bed sores should rarely happen. Bed sores begin as skin lesions, but they can invade deeper tissues and internal organs if left untreated. They happen when a person remains seated, prone, or supine in a single position for too long. They are most frequently seen in older adults who are no longer mobile or able to care for themselves.
Bed sores can appear in nursing home residents, particularly in facilities that do not have enough staff members or have poorly trained caregivers. At early stages, they are painful and inconvenient, but not life-threatening. As they progress, however, they can cause necrosis of the surrounding tissue. In worst-case scenarios, they might lead to organ failure.
If your elderly loved one developed bed sores, a strong chance exists that the negligence of a caregiver is at least partly to blame. All Pennsylvania nursing homes must provide adequate care to elderly residents. If a facility or caregiver fails to uphold this duty of care and your loved one develops bed sores as a result, the responsible party or parties could be liable for monetary damages. A bed sores in the elderly nursing homes lawyer in Bucks County can help.
At Cordisco & Saile LLC, our nursing home attorneys have a long track record of holding facilities accountable for how they treat their elderly, vulnerable residents. If your loved one developed bed sores due to mistreatment or neglect, we can pursue damages from them. We also help make sure that future residents do not have to experience the same abuse.
To schedule a free consultation with a member of our legal team, call our office today at 215-642-2335.
What Are Bed Sores?
Bed sores, technically called pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers, are skin injuries that occur due to prolonged pressure. Most begin as superficial. If they do not receive medical treatment, however, they can spread in breadth and depth. They occur most often in bony areas, such as the tailbone and hips, as these spots tend to absorb the most pressure while a person is in a seated or lying position.
Bed sores often come on quickly and without warning, and can worsen rapidly. If caught early, they are easy to treat. Some of them—particularly those not addressed in a reasonable time—never go away completely.
What Causes Bed Sores?
There are several common causes for bed sores in elderly patients.
Without adequate care, older people with limited or no mobility can remain in one position for hours at a time. This can cause pressure on some areas of the body. If it is a bony area that lacks padding from fat and muscle, the pressure can eventually cut off blood flow, depriving the skin and nearby tissues of oxygen, resulting in sores and possible necrosis.
If the skin in one area repeatedly rubs against the person's bed, clothing, or wheelchair, sores can also develop. This is why nursing home staff members should remain vigilant to assure this does not happen.
This happens when the skin and underlying bone move in different directions. If a senior is not secure in their bed or chair, they can slide around, causing the skin to slide around over the bone.
Bed sores progress through four stages.
These are superficial lesions, affecting only the outer layers of skin. They can be painful and uncomfortable, but as long as they receive treatment at this stage, they usually do not present a major health concern.
At this stage, the sore is deepening into the skin and can blister or crust. While still not life-threatening, stage-two bed sores can result in the permanent death of skin cells.
Now the bed sore has deepened beyond the skin and into the soft tissue beneath. It has effectively formed a crater. Bedsores are very difficult to treat at this stage. They almost always cause permanent damage.
The bed sore has reached the muscle or bone beneath the skin and, in worst cases, can spread to internal organs. Damage caused at this stage is almost always irreversible. Without intervention, stage four bed sores can lead to fatal complications.
If you notice any signs of bed sores when visiting your loved one, get them the medical treatment they need, including emergency care if necessary. Next, document your findings thoroughly, obtaining as much evidence as you can. Then, contact a nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer in Bucks County. The team at Cordisco & Saile LLC can help you take action against the facility for its neglect. We help you and your loved one fight for the compensation you deserve.
Holding a Nursing Facility Responsible for Its Neglect
If your loved one developed bed sores due to negligence or abuse at a nursing facility, you might be able to take legal action.
Our legal team can build a strong case on your behalf by:
- Taking time-stamped photographs;
- Subpoenaing time cards and other documentation to show who was caring for your loved one;
- Interviewing the facility owner and staff members;
- Researching the facility's history for any previous lawsuits or claims of negligence; and
- Obtaining documentation of past sanctions against the facility from any regulatory body.
We have fought and won many nursing home abuse and neglect cases. We can get you and your loved one the damages you deserve and help put a stop to abusive or neglectful practices.
For a Free Consultation With a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer in Bucks County, Call Cordisco & Saile LLC at 215-642-2335.
At Cordisco & Saile LLC, our legal team is ready to go to work on behalf of you and your loved one. We hold nursing facilities accountable for neglectful behavior, and we help you pursue you the compensation you deserve. Call 215-642-2335 for a free consultation.