Bedsores & Pressure Ulcers

Bedsores Lawyer in North Carolina & Georgia

One of the earliest signs of abusive or neglectful nursing home care is the presence of bedsores, sometimes called pressure ulcers or pressure injury. Bedsores are skin ulcers that develop when blood circulation is interrupted or cut off from a certain region of the body for a prolonged period. Initially, bedsores appear to be darkened irritations or rashes on the skin. They can crack, become infected, deepen over time, and potentially cause death if left untreated.
When visiting your loved one in a nursing home, you should regularly check them for bedsores. When you do see bedsores, you should immediately notify the staff and request medical attention. If the bedsores are severe or you suspect that they are the result of regular nursing home neglect and abuse, you should reach out to a nursing home neglect lawyer.

Do bedsores indicate negligent nursing home practices?

More often than not, bedsores indicate carelessness or negligence on the part of the nursing home. Although bedsores can sometimes be unavoidable due to certain medical conditions, they are far more frequently the result of a nursing home resident being left in one position for too long. Remaining in a single position applies constant pressure to certain areas of the body, which prevents blood from flowing to those regions, leaving the skin cells malnourished and without sufficient oxygen, and eventually damaging them.
Seniors living in nursing homes are more vulnerable to skin damage because their skin does not recover as quickly as it does for younger adults or adolescents. Nevertheless, proper care can still prevent bedsores from forming in elder nursing home patients. Nursing homes have a responsibility to care for their residents, whether it means urging them to move or physically repositioning them if they are unable to do so themselves.
Bedsores commonly appear around the shoulders, spine, tailbone, hips, heels, and other areas of the body that are less protected by fat and muscle. As a result, bedsores can sometimes indicate or be caused by malnutrition, dehydration, and neglect. When patients do not receive the proper nutrients or hydration, it can affect their blood flow, the integrity of their skin, and their fat composition, which could otherwise protect vulnerable areas. Furthermore, when patients are left to sit in moist or soiled clothing, it can weaken the skin and cause infections around the buttocks area. This creates an environment that is conducive to the formation of ulcers.
If your loved one has severe bedsores or is suffering from infections caused by pressure ulcers, call Pleasant Law, PLLC at (919) 867-5575 or send a message. A North Carolina bedsores lawyer will evaluate your situation and work with you to hold the nursing home accountable for its negligence.
Get in touch with Pleasant Law, PLLC by calling (919) 867-5575 or sending your case information for a free case review by our nursing home abuse lawyer.

Stages of Bedsores

Medical professionals divide bedsores into five classifications:

Bedsores first appear as colored or darkened irritations on the skin. They may be red, blue, or purple. The region itself may itch, burn, or be sensitive to the touch.
Second-stage bedsores occur when the ulcers begin to blister, crack, or rupture the skin. You may be able to see shallow wounds or fluid-filled blisters. Ulcers of this stage have already broken down the top layer of skin, killing the skin cells, and have started to damage the second skin layer. Patients will often complain of significantly heightened pain.
Bedsores reach the third stage when the ulcers extend (or “crater”) below the skin, exposing fatty or dead tissue. The areas immediately surrounding the ulcers will begin to raise or curl and become discoloured. By this stage, wounds may start to penetrate the muscles.
The fourth stage of bedsores is the most severe. By this point, infections are high-risk and might have already set in. Wounds may be deep enough to expose muscles, tendons, and even bone, and dead tissue may accumulate at the bottom.
Sometimes the topmost area of the ulcer may be covered or filled in with severely damaged tissue or dead skin, hiding the depth of the wound. These are referred to as “unstageable bedsores” because they are difficult to properly diagnose. Exposed areas may be moist and loosened (“slough”) or dry and hardened (“eschar”). They may be brown, yellow, green, or some other darkened color, depending on the exact nature of the wound.

Thomas Pleasant (Attorney)

Bedsores Lawsuits in North Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky & Tennessee

Nursing homes have a legal obligation to provide adequate care and treatment to residents. Residents also have the legal right to be free from physical abuse. Proper and attentive care is what patients, their families, and the nursing home agreed to when the patient entered the nursing home facility.
Severe bedsores generally indicate a failure on the part of the nursing home to fulfill the duties owed to the patient. Typically, the root cause of this negligence is a lack of staffing. However, this is no excuse. No person should be left to live with bedsores. They can be extremely painful and can cause a serious infection, which can lead to death. In severe cases, these ulcers may take many months to heal through a rigorous treatment regimen. Cases involving Stage 3, Stage 4, Unstageable or Deep Tissue Injury pressure injuries are almost always worth a full investigation of the medical records.
Pleasant Law, PLLC has the expertise to evaluate the details of your case and determine whether a lawsuit should be brought.
Call (919) 867-5575 or send a message if your loved one is suffering from severe bedsores or infected pressure ulcers. Pleasant Law, PLLC accepts clients from North Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

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