Dedicated Chicago, Illinois Nursing Home Bedsores Lawyer
As personal injury attorneys, we see thousands of injuries of all kinds every year. However, almost nothing upsets us more than bedsores resulting from nursing home abuse or negligence. In most cases, these painful – and in some cases life-threatening – injuries are easily avoidable, yet countless residents suffer from bedsores solely because of their caregivers’ apathy or mistreatment.
At Malman Law, we are passionate about helping victims of nursing home negligence and abuse fight for just compensation. We regularly represent nursing home residents and their families throughout the Chicagoland area in cases involving bedsores resulting from improper care. We have helped over 15,000 clients recover in excess of $200 million for their losses, and we can help you fight for the compensation you deserve.
Bedsores, also known as pressure sores or pressure ulcers, are injuries that involve damage to the skin and underlying tissue due to prolonged pressure. They are most common on the hips, tailbone, ankles, heels, and backs of the arms and legs; however, many nursing home residents who are confined to beds and wheelchairs also suffer pressure sores on their shoulder blades, the back or sides of their head, their ears, and the backs of their knees.
Bedsores can develop quickly and treatment is often difficult – especially among elderly patients. Unfortunately, nursing home residents with limited mobility are uniquely at risk for suffering these injuries.
Signs and Symptoms of Bedsores
Nursing home residents and their family members should be aware of the risk of bedsores, and know the signs of a possible injury. While you may not be able to prevent bedsores, knowing when to seek help can be critical to protecting your health and quickly obtaining financial help for your medical expenses and other losses. Some of the early signs and symptoms of pressure sores include:
- Skin does not lighten in color (blanch) when touched
- Skin discoloration
- Tenderness and pain in the affected area
- Unusual firmness or softness in the affected area (the skin may also feel warmer or cooler than the surrounding area)
- Red or pink wounds, which may look similar to blisters
When bedsores go untreated, patients’ conditions can deteriorate rapidly. Untreated pressure ulcers can become serious injuries, often causing extremely painful and irreversible damage. Advanced bedsores often result in:
- Exposure of fat, muscle, bone, or tendons underneath the skin
- Crater-like wounds with yellowish, brown, or black dead tissue
- Damage extending below the healthy skin around the site of the bedsore
If you or your loved one is experiencing any of these symptoms, you should seek medical attention right away.
Nursing Home Negligence and Abuse Resulting in Bedsores
When nursing home residents suffer bedsores, it is often as a result of negligent or abusive treatment on the part of staff members or nursing home administrators. From overlooking symptoms to abandoning patients entirely, all levels of negligence and abuse can lead to bedsores. In some cases, incompetent or untrained nursing home employees may even restrain patients in order to avoid their responsibilities. These and other all-too-common errors can be devastating for elderly patients’ health, happiness, and wellbeing.
Sadly, medical conditions resulting from other forms of inadequate nursing home care also place residents at greater risk for developing bedsores. For example, elderly individuals with the following conditions may be particularly susceptible to suffering sores without proper care:
- Weight loss due to malnutrition
- Immobility or lost sensory perception due to falls, fractures, and spine injuries
- Excess moisture or dryness and limited blood flow resulting from wrongful or inappropriate care
However, just because you or your loved one is at heightened risk does not mean that it is acceptable to experience bedsores. Even among high-risk patients, pressure sores can – and should – be avoided with proper care. In addition, as noted previously, it may be that your heightened risk factors are the result of other negligent or abusive treatment. Any time you or a loved one experiences bedsores in a nursing home, you should seek prompt medical treatment and report the incident to Malman Law as soon as possible. Not only can we help you pursue compensation, but we can also help you transition to a professional, caring, and trusted nursing home.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is a bedsore?
Bedsores are also known as pressure ulcers or pressure sores. They happen when an area of the body is exposed to constant pressure over an extended period of time. They commonly occur on the hips, tailbone, ankles, the buttocks, and the heels of the feet. They can occur on any part of the body that is exposed to constant pressure. People who are confined to wheelchairs or to bed are at risk of developing bedsores.
However, bedsores are preventable. If your loved one is in a nursing home, hospital, rehab center, or assisted living facility, they could be at a higher risk for bedsores if they are not moved as often as they should be. Bedsores can develop quickly. For people who have diabetes, they can be extremely dangerous because of poor wound healing.
If you believe that your loved one developed a bedsore because of neglect or abuse in a nursing home or assisted living facility, call Malman Law right away. We provide free case evaluations and we have a Registered Nurse on staff with more than 30 years of experience. Bedsores are painful, and they can also be prevented. Call Malman Law to schedule your free initial consultation.
How do I know if my loved one has a bedsore?
Bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers or pressure sores, can be extremely painful for your loved one. When they aren’t properly treated, your loved one may experience complications and the wounds may not heal. That’s why it is important that you are able to recognize the signs and symptoms of a bedsore that may be developing. The signs include:
- Skin that does not get lighter when you touch it. When you apply pressure to healthy skin and release the pressure, you’ll see the skin is lighter and you can usually see the blood return to the area. This is known as blanching. If you notice that when you move your loved one, the skin does not do this in a certain area of their body, they may be developing a bedsore.
- The skin is discolored. The skin may appear red and irritated.
- The area may be sore. Your loved one may indicate to you that the area is sore when it is touched. Tenderness and pain are signs of a developing bedsore.
- The skin may seem harder or softer than usual. Also, the skin may also feel warmer from inflammation or cooler because the skin hasn’t received enough blood supply.
- There appears to be red or pink sores that may look like blisters. These sores can quickly get worse. It’s important that your loved one gets medical attention right away.
If you noticed bedsores on your loved one who lives in a nursing or assisted living facility in Chicago, call Malman Law to schedule a free consultation. During the last 20 years, we’ve helped people who were victims of nursing home and assisted living facility abuse and neglect. Don’t wait. These sores can quickly get worse and cause more problems for your loved one. Call us now.
What happens if bedsores go untreated?
Bedsores are completely preventable. Yet, once they happen, they can be hard to treat. Your loved one can experience more than just pain and discomfort. Advanced bedsores can also cause:
- Exposure of bone, muscle, or tendons. Severe bedsores such as this are more than just painful. They can also be an invitation for severe and sometimes life-threatening infections.
- Crater-like sores with dead or dying tissue. Dying tissue can be dangerous. It can even cause your loved one to need specialized care. In extremely severe cases, your loved one could even need an amputation. The dying tissue could also cause an infection that threatens their life.
- Damage to other areas of the body. Bedsores can continue to damage your loved one by spreading.
Bedsores are hard to treat and are cause for concern – even more so if your loved one has diabetes or another condition that causes poor wound healing. If you believe that your loved one has untreated bedsores as a result of nursing home or assisted living facility abuse or neglect, contact Malman Law now. We want to help you hold the nursing home or assisted living facility accountable, and help your loved one get the compensation that they deserve.
Speak with a Nursing Home Negligence and Abuse Lawyer at Malman Law Today
The experienced and compassionate attorneys at Malman Law are here to help you vigorously pursue compensation for nursing home bedsores. We want to help you, and we will do whatever it takes to hold negligent and abusive nursing homes accountable and protect our clients’ legal rights. To speak with someone about your situation, call our Chicago offices at (888) 625-6265 or contact us online today.