Bedsores (also known as pressure ulcers) can be uncomfortable, debilitating, and even deadly for elderly patients confined to nursing homes. As with other forms of nursing home abuse and neglect, bedsores are often prevalent among those who already have limited mobility and consciousness, and perhaps even limited personal defenses to stop or speak up about mistreatment.
Unfortunately, bedsores are a common (and growing) problem in nursing homes and care facilities. While it is true that not all instances of bedsores are caused by nursing home neglect and abuse, the majority are attributed to glaring mistreatments, such as improper care and rotation, or even malnutrition among residents.
What Are Bedsores?
Bedsores result from chronic pressure on certain areas of the body. While many think that nursing homes and other facilities are safe and healthy places for the elderly to reside, this is not always true. For elderly patients confined due to paralysis, surgery, fatigue, or other medical or emotional complications, a wheelchair or bed can be a surprisingly dangerous area. Bed-ridden patients who are not regularly repositioned and cleaned can suffer many health ramifications. In addition, nursing home patients who are often already undernourished, relatively frail, and desensitized to pain from medication are typically at far greater risk for developing bedsores than are the non-elderly, or even other elderly individuals who do not live in a facility.
Common Symptoms of Bedsores
Generally, there are four stages of bedsore development, as defined by The National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel:
- Stage 1: Sores appear as closed wounds with red or pink coloration, a spongy touch, and potentially itching or burning sensations.
- Stage 2: Sores look like abrasions to the skin or perhaps pressure blisters. Sores become open wounds as opposed to closed wounds.
- Stage 3: Sores extend into muscle and perhaps adipose tissue.
- Stage 4: Advanced injuries to skin, muscle, fat, and other underlying tissues, including potentially joints, ligaments, and even bones. Infection often associated.
The location of bedsores, in any developing stage, will usually depend on whether the individual is confined to a wheelchair or bed. According to the Mayo Clinic, bedsores are usually present along the spine, tailbone, or buttocks of a victim confined to a wheelchair, while they’re commonly found along the back-side of the legs, arms, and the neck among victims confined to a bed.
What to Do When Bedsores Are Present
If found within the early stages of development, bedsores can be alleviated by simply repositioning to release pressure on the skin. However, medical attention should be sought whenever bedsores are noticed, or even suspected. Untreated or poorly treated bedsores can vastly complicate a nursing home resident’s health prognosis. Often, even if bedsores don’t kill a patient outright, these injuries can compromise immune systems, leading to fever or infection.
The victim often experiences extreme discomfort, and may even require secondary medications (which can interfere with primary medications or prevent surgeries that otherwise might be useful), and so forth. For these reasons, it is not only important to seek medical help for a loved one with bedsores, but also legal help from an attorney who is familiar with bedsores, and the neglect that’s often involved.
Expert Legal Assistance at Malman Law
As Illinois nursing home injury attorneys who’ve dealt with many diverse cases of elder care abuse, at Malman Law, we can provide assistance to you and your family if you suspect that a nursing care facility has been negligent.
We offer the following to all of our clients and their families who have suffered from neglect or abuse:
Our Experience – At Malman Law, we have over 25 years of experience fighting for victims of nursing home neglect and abuse, personal injury, medical malpractice, and more. Our hearts go out to each and every one of the families who have experienced the pain of learning that a trusted facility has not only neglected or abused a loved one, but has also broken the law. From the moment when you choose our firm, we will fight on your side to ensure that justice is served, and rightful compensation is secured.
Our Results – We have helped over 20,000 individuals and families in our years of legal dedication by obtaining justice and securing compensation – even settlements as large as six, seven, and eight figures. We encourage you to view some of our client testimonials to determine if we’re the right firm for you.
Our Zero Fee Guarantee – We pride our zero fee guarantee – which is offered to all clients – as something that lessens the stress and burden that you’re already experiencing. Simply put: If we don’t secure a settlement through negotiations or in court, then you will not owe one cent in legal fees.
Contact Malman Law Today
If you believe that a loved one has been the victim of nursing home negligence, and this negligence has led to the formation and/or exacerbation of pressure ulcers, you may be able to take powerful legal action to hold the care facility accountable and collect compensation for further medical expenses, pain, suffering, and other damages. Discuss your situation today with the caring, experienced, and time-tested Chicago personal injury attorneys of Malman Law Call our offices or contact us online today – we’re ready to help bring some peace-of-mind back to your family.