Nursing home abuse is prevalent and comes in many forms. Typically, it is the result of a caregiver taking advantage of a person in a vulnerable position. Nursing home administrators and staff may try to cover up their complaints, meaning that even if you do all the proper research, you will not find everything there is to know about the facility.
Other times, the facility does not have any complaints, but one of the caregivers has a track record of abuse that was undisclosed or overlooked. It is not up to the family to find the liable party, but it is your responsibility to speak with an Olive Branch personal injury lawyer from Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi, PLC.
Possible Risk Factors of Bedsores
Bedsores have many names, such as pressure ulcers, pressure sores, and decubitus ulcers. These injuries happen when skin and tissue damage from prolonged pressure on a specific area prevents blood flow. These sores appear on ankles, hips, tailbones, heels, back of head, elbows, spine, buttocks, and shoulder blades.
If a person is immobile and constantly in bed or in a wheelchair, they are more susceptible to getting bedsores. Most nursing home residents risk developing bed sores, but those with medical conditions restricting mobility have additional risk factors. Those with cognitive conditions are also at risk because they cannot express their needs, and caregivers may take advantage.
Another factor is when caregivers do not see family involvement; they tend to assume that no one cares for the resident and may not check in on the resident. Since there is no family involvement, caretakers may think they can get away with abuse and neglect. None of these are valid reasons for a bedsore injury, and you need to immediately speak with nursing home bedsore lawyers in Olive Branch.
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Stages of Bedsores
There are four stages of bedsores; the higher the stage, the more severe the sore. Stages one and two can be treated in a nursing home and will often be challenging to spot. Stages three and four are severe and require outside treatment. When a sore reaches stage three, there is a crater in the affected area, and the chances of recovery are much lower.
Stage four may require hospitalization and surgery with additional treatment, like moving the patient more than before. Bedsores are painful, and so is the treatment for them. A bedsore can quickly lead to severe medical conditions like:
- Tissue death
- Skin cancer
- Skin infection
- Wound infection
- Blood infection
- Cartilage damage
- Joint infectious
- Bone infections
The physical pain is only the beginning, as there is also the emotional pain to contend with, which can make healing more challenging. When the person entrusted with your care betrays their duty and causes harm, it is challenging to trust medical professionals that come in afterward to fix the problem. The family must be there every step so nursing home residents begin to feel safe and trust their new caregivers.
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The leading cause of bedsores is neglect by caregivers who do not provide residents with food, clothes, medicine, and accommodations. Not only are these part of their responsibilities, but it also helps prevent bedsores and other injuries. Immobile patients need daily mobility exercises and repositioning so they are not on one body part or position for too long.
Bedridden patients who use wheelchairs deserve the same respect as other mobile residents. Upon entering a facility, all patients will undergo an assessment by a medical professional who will develop a nutrition and treatment plan considering the resident’s risk factors.
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Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
Everything regarding care seems to be going smoothly initially, and you believe your loved one is getting the best care possible until things quickly turn. Neglect takes many forms, and if you notice signs of bad personal hygiene, messy or dirty rooms, and unexplained health problems, something nefarious is happening. Some caregivers will win over the family’s trust by going above and beyond and may turn around and begin to abuse the patient. Look for other signs like:
- Improper medication administration
- Mood changes
- Caregivers not allowing you to visit the patient alone
- Broken bones
- Unexplained bruises or lesions
You can request medical documentation that outlines their care and look for any discrepancies. Also, speak to the administration about your concerns. Lastly, if there is a bedsore, talk to an Olive Branch nursing home bedsore attorney.
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Taking Legal Action
A bedsore is severe, and a person can develop medical complications that can become fatal. When you notice a bedsore, you must speak with nursing home bedsore attorneys in Olive Branch to take legal action. The nursing home facility will be held liable for the losses you suffer from the incident.
If the bedsore is very severe, it can require an outside wound care team or surgery to treat the patient and avoid further complications. The nursing home may not have conducted a proper background check on the staff they hired, was understaffed, or did not train employees leading to neglect. While the caregiver is responsible, the nursing home is liable for their actions.
When you file an Olive Branch nursing home abuse claim, you can obtain compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Change of facility costs
- Punitive damages
Bedsores are one symptom of abuse, and subsequent injuries can result. Often there is emotional and physical abuse present. You need GKBM to thoroughly investigate the incident and find everything that is medically wrong due to the actions of caregivers.
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Nursing home residents deserve respect, and the law protects them, but the overworked staff and improper training can cause injury and harm to everyone in the facility. Whether your loved one has a bedsore or another sign of physical abuse, you need to take swift action and speak with an Olive Branch nursing home bedsore lawyer. Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi, PLC, can meet you in your home, hospital, or at our office.
Wherever we meet you, the consultation is free.