Too often, friends and loved ones of nursing home residents assume bedsores are simply a reality of long-term care. In fact, they are a fully preventable injury and their recurrence may indicate serious staff negligence. Investigating bed sore injuries often leads to uncovering other forms of neglect, including malnutrition, medication errors and more.
If someone you care about has been suffering from repeated bed sore injuries, the lawyers at McCarthy Weisberg Cummings, P.C. may be able to help. We can examine the specifics of your case and advise how to go about determining whether or not the injury could have been avoided with appropriate care — or if it is potentially a sign of abuse.
What Are Bed Sores?
Bed sores — also called pressure sores — are skin and tissue injuries that occur when an individual is unable to move for an extended period of time. They are often found on hips, tailbones, ankles, heels and other parts of the body that are subject to pressure when in a seated or prone position.
The severity of a bed sore injury is graded on a four stage scale. Stage 1 is the most mild, representing only surface damage, whereas Stage 4 bedsores involve deep tissue injury. Even in their beginning stages, bedsores can be quite painful and have a significant impact on quality of life.
Preventing Bed Sores
Due to the number of patients with mobility issues, it is a key responsibility of nursing home staff to be on the lookout for bedsores and take appropriate preventative measures. These include periodically repositioning patients to distribute pressure to different parts of the body.
Skin must be kept clean at all times, particularly for patients with incontinence or bowel issues. Ensuring proper nutrition and hydration, and encouraging residents to stay mobile and active, are other important preventative measures.
Knowing the Signs of Abuse
When someone close to you is in a long-term care facility, you are an important advocate for his or her health and wellbeing. As such, it’s important to be on the lookout for bedsores and other signs of neglect. Pay close attention to changes in behavior and mood and don’t dismiss complaints out of hand. By remaining vigilant, it is possible to ensure your loved one continues to receive a high quality of care throughout his or her golden years.
When to Contact an Attorney
Bedsore injuries can be caused by untrained staff, insufficient resources or simple neglect. If you suspect your loved one’s caregivers are not doing everything they can to prevent these health issues from recurring, it is within your rights to file a formal complaint or pursue legal action.
Doing so can entitle you to compensation for medical bills and well as punitive damages. It can also expose these conditions so that others don’t have to suffer.
To explore your options, contact the bed sore injury attorneys at McCarthy Weisberg Cummings, P.C. Our team has over 40 years of combined experience with personal injury law in Pennsylvania. Our bedsore injury attorneys have a long history of fighting for the rights and the health of those in nursing home facilities. To arrange your free consultation, contact our office today.