When you or a loved one enter a nursing home, it is for peace of mind and additional care you do not receive at home. People do not enter nursing homes to suffer an injury or death. Unfortunately, many nursing home residents suffer injuries like bedsores.
These injuries can lead to other complications and are unacceptable. You must speak with a Bartlett personal injury lawyer from Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi, PLC, to discuss your options and hold negligent parties responsible.
How Bedsores Happen and Hurt the Body
Bedsores are wounds that nursing home patients suffer due to neglect. These wounds are entirely preventable when nursing home staff adequately does their job. Medicare views bedsores as a “never event,” meaning they should never happen.
Since residents are less mobile in a nursing home, loved ones believe these sores are normal. They can lead to complications like osteomyelitis, sepsis, and death. You need to speak with a nursing home bedsore lawyer in Bartlett.
Bedsores form when there is little to no movement and improper hygiene, so you will often find bedsores in the heels, back, head and buttocks. Immobile patients must be repositioned by staff periodically to prevent bedsores. Nursing home staff must also check the patient’s clothing for dryness.
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Stages of Bed Sores
There are varying stages of bedsores and types that can further impact the health of your loved one. A stage one pressure sore looks like small red spots and is painful. If stage one sores are caught in time, the nursing home can administer treatment, and the person can heal with minor damage. The worse a bedsore is the higher chance of infection and death in the patient.
Stage two means there is an opening and exposed skin, and it will look like a blister or shallow wound. They are treatable if caught in time. When you get to stage three, the condition becomes much worse. The bedsore has now become a crater and is a severe health risk.
The worst is a stage four sore because these wounds are profound, reaching the tendons, tissues, and joints. The possibility of infection is high, and few treatment options are available.
You are not a medical professional and therefore do not have the skills to determine the proper stage of a bedsore. While the facility is required to document bedsores in patients, they may not because they may not want to deal with the repercussions. Nursing home bedsore attorneys can review medical documents and pictures to determine the stage of the bedsore.
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Preventing Bed Sores
There are ways to prevent bedsores, and nursing home staff are aware of these methods and may consciously decide to ignore them. The primary prevention method is to change the patient’s position every two hours. While the position will vary depending on the patient, the need to move the patient does not.
Staff must also promote circulation by participating in range-of-motion exercises. Proper hygiene and skin hydration are also vital to prevent these sores. Also, staff should change the sheets and ensure the bed is smooth and free of wrinkles.
Frequent massages are also prevention methods, along with special pressure mattresses.
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Facts About Bed Sores
Bedsores can lead to death due to infection, osteomyelitis, and sepsis. Nursing homes are required to keep track of skin degradation and bedsores, A failure to document can cause significant issues for the facility and the patient.
Proper documentation is necessary, and nursing homes cannot skip this vital step.
Another fast fact to consider is that insurance companies will not reimburse a nursing home or other care facilities for the medical costs of treating bedsores. Since bedsores are preventable, the insurance companies place those costs on the facility responsible for preventing them. You need a nursing home bedsore attorney in TN to hold these facilities financially accountable for their negligence.
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Finding a Bedsore
Bedsores are found in hidden areas, and you might not be able to see signs that anything is wrong. Your loved one may not be willing to speak about what is happening or is unable to communicate effectively. Create a safe emotional space for the nursing home resident to trust you with their concerns and ask questions when you visit.
Respect their boundaries and have patience but document what you can, such as pictures, who you spoke to about your concern, and the dates. You will need to increase monitoring of your loved one during this time.
Bedsores are also signs of something else happening in the facility. Since it is due to neglect, the staff and others are likely participating in other negligent or abusive behaviors. Other signs of abuse and neglect to look for include:
- Appearing emotionally withdrawn
- Broken bones
- Changes in behavior
- Heavy sedation during every visit
- Head injuries
- Unwillingness to speak in front of particular caregivers
Negligent nursing home staff and caregivers cannot get away with these actions, and you must speak with a Bartlett nursing home bedsore attorney.
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While your solution is to change facilities, that does not address the core issue. A bedsore lawsuit can lead to facility and policy changes and better resident care.
It also puts the nursing home on alert since the state and other agencies will inspect and review the claim. They can lose funding or negligent staff can lose their job.
Additionally, you will receive compensation for any losses like costs for moving the resident or additional medical care to treat a bedsore. Bedsores are one form of neglect; the staff is likely participating in other heinous acts like emotional and psychological abuse. Document the bedsore and speak with a nursing home bedsore attorney in Bartlett right away.
Speak with a Bartlett Nursing Home Bedsore Lawyer
We have 150 years of cumulative experience and will fight against negligent nursing homes, insurance companies, hospitals, and assisted living facilities. These parties are entrusted with the care of your loved one, and they have instead caused them harm. Any harm to a resident or patient is unacceptable and must face legal consequences.
Contact Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu, & Montesi, PLC.