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Nursing Home Patients and Bedsores, Who's to Blame?

Wheelchair in HallwayIt is difficult enough to have a loved one placed in an assisted living facility, a long-term care center, or a nursing home without having to worry about their care. Unfortunately the care a loved one requires is not always met inside of a nursing home facility. In many instances the resident is too weak or frail to move their body frequently and as a result, they are forced to spend long periods of time in the same position in a wheelchair or bed. This limited movement can lead to painful sores, commonly known as bedsores.

Nursing home and assisted living facility residents who develop bedsores as a result of negligence or abuse have grounds for a lawsuit and compensation for medical injuries sustained as well as physical and emotional pain and duress. If the patient was admitted to the current facility without bedsores, or if they have no history of bedsores, he or she will have even more cause for just compensation. 

How do patients develop bedsores in nursing homes?

Bedsores appear as dark spots on the skin and are a result of pressure on various parts of the body. Some of the most common locations affected by bed sores include:

  • Back
  • Back of the Head
  • Hips
  • Shoulders
  • Tailbone
  • Elbows
  • Feet

When patients are left unattended for long periods of time, this pressure can lead to a depletion of oxygen and blood supply, which in turn forces the death of cells beneath the skin, leading to discoloration and pain. In addition to limited mobility, poor nutritional options can also lead to the development of bedsores. Bedsores can also be life-threatening, since they can affect circulation and blood supply, oxygen levels, and organ function.

Because of the seriousness of bedsores, nursing homes and assisted living facilities are responsible for ensuring that they do not occur. Because a bedsore cannot be blamed on the patient themselves, the staff of long-term care facilities are to blame in instances in which they occur. There are even federal laws designed to protect patients and nursing home residents from negligence. When these laws are not followed, injury, illness, and death can occur. 

Nursing homes and hospitals are also required by law to develop care plans for their patients. Frequent movement by shifting the patient’s body weight periodically or physically moving the patient in and out of the bed to prevent bedsores from developing are intended to prevent bedsores. Neglecting to reposition a patient and the development of bedsores are a direct result of negligence and nursing home abuse.

Should a patient develop bedsores, staff are required by law to administer treatment immediately to prevent further illness or injury. Without treatment, a bedsore can lead to serious health complications or even death. If a bedsore is left untreated and reaches a stage four classification, painful surgeries and reconstructive treatments may be required to remove dead or infected tissue. The chances of recovering from stage four bedsores are slim, and even if one does survive the surgeries and procedures, he or she will have a long road ahead to recovery and healing. 

Help for Memphis Nursing Home Abuse

If your loved one develops bedsores, you should contact a personal injury attorney experienced in dealing with bedsores and negligence immediately. The Chiozza Law Firm has attorneys who are accustomed to dealing with hospital negligence and will be happy to provide a no cost consultation to discuss your matter. Please contact Brian Chiozza at brian@chiozzalaw.com or call 901-526-9494.



Posted by Brian Chiozza at 4:49 PM
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