Bedsores, also called pressure sores or pressure ulcers, are injuries to skin and underlying tissues that are caused from prolonged pressure on the skin. People most at risk of bedsores are those with a limited ability to change positions, such as people in wheelchairs or who are bedridden in a hospital or nursing home.
Bedsores can develop quickly and be difficult to treat. Therefore, when a patient is bedridden and not able to move themselves, they rely on diligent staff members to turn them regularly. This is typically every two hours. These staff members are employed to look out for their patient’s well-being and provide essential care. Sadly, if they neglect to do their job properly, the patient can suffer needless injury.
As Palm Beach Florida Litigation Lawyers, we have seen how untreated bedsores can progress into deep, serious wounds called pressure ulcers that can require surgical repair if left untreated.
According to the Mayo Clinic, bedsores or pressure sores fall into one of four stages based on their severity:
Stage 1 – At this beginning point, the skin is intact but may be painful, firm, soft, and warmer or cooler compared with the surrounding skin.
Stage 2 – The ulcer is an open wound
Stage 3 – The ulcer is now a deep wound
Stage 4 – The ulcer exhibits large-scale loss of tissue
Bedsores are Preventable
Perhaps the most tragic part about bedsores is that they are easily preventable. If bedsores begin to develop, appropriate steps must be taken to help them heal as quickly as possible. The Mayo Clinic states that while Stage I and Stage 2 pressure sores can usually heal within several weeks to months, Stage 3 and 4 pressure sores are more difficult to treat.
Inspection of the skin should be a part of the routine nursing care for anyone who has limited ability to reposition him or herself. Nevertheless, when a health care worker fails to properly care for a patient, it puts loved ones at risk and subjects them to unnecessary suffering. Those who have suffered due to negligence of the nursing home or hospital staff may have grounds for a negligence claim.
Neglected Nursing Home and Hospital Residents Need Strong Representation
Our Florida-based Medical Negligence Lawyers at Babbitt &Johnson, P.A. have helped countless nursing home, assisted living residents and hospital patients who have suffered bedsores and other injuries at the hands of inattentive caregivers. Not only has our legal team rigorously pursued more openness in the medical profession resulting in changes in policies and laws, we have sought maximum compensation from facilities and parties who may be held accountable.
Mayo Clinic article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/bedsores/DS00570