There are many horror stories regarding nursing home abuse and neglect, one of which is the prevalence of bedsores among residents. These wounds can range in severity, but no matter what stage they are in, they cause severe and unnecessary pain and suffering.
While it is a prevalent issue, it is also preventable, and most insurance companies will not cover medical expenses for bedsores in a nursing home facility. If your loved one is suffering from bedsore or other neglect in a nursing home, you must immediately speak with a personal injury lawyer in Southaven, MS, from Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi, PLC.
The Stages of Bed Sores
There are four stages of bedsores, and many causes can lead to an initial sore. The longer bedsores go untreated, the worse they can become. While poor nutrition, an elevated bed, or lack of repositioning are leading causes of bedsores, the underlying issue is always neglect.
Stages One and Two of Bed Sores
Stages one and two are very treatable because the skin has often not been penetrated. That does not mean the person is in any less pain, only that there are more treatment options. Stage one is a small red spot that can feel like a rash.
It is challenging for those not in the medical field to differentiate a rash and a stage one bed sore, but you should document any new spots and continue to monitor treatment from the facility. Luckily these injuries are treatable without much additional damage.
When the injury is no longer superficial and breaks the skin, it is in stage two. It looks like a scrape or blister but is a bedsore that has penetrated the skin and can become worse without treatment. Typically, you do not see litigation for stage one or two, but that does not mean you should skip talking with a Southaven nursing home bedsore lawyer.
Stages Three and Four
Stage three is when the pressure ulcer has penetrated the skin and is a carter that goes beyond the fat layer. At this point, treatment from an outside wound care team is necessary because a nursing home does not have the tools to treat something so severe. As you might imagine, stage four is the worst and requires extensive care to get to a better condition.
In stage four, there is damage to the tendons, deep tissue, and joints. There are also unstageable bed sores and deep tissue injuries that are challenging to determine because they are so severe and have additional symptoms that do not fit into stages one through four. An unstageable bedsore is one where the depth of the wound is unclear because there is liquid buildup, and medical professionals cannot find an accurate measurement.
A deep tissue injury forms inside the body but can open up, revealing a deep wound. On the outside, it appears purple, like a bruise. Nursing homes will attribute bedsores to deep tissue injuries to avoid liability.
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If a bedsore is left untreated, it can lead to other serious medical complications. The nursing home bedsore attorneys in Southaven, MS, from GKBM often see complications such as:
- E. Coli
- Septic arthritis
- Proteus mirabilis
- Pseudomonas aeruginosa
- Staphylococcus aureus
These infections can result in worsening medical conditions or death. Patients who suffer a severe bedsore are at a higher risk of dying within a year, especially without treatment.
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Nutrition and Bedsores
Nutrition is essential for overall health, and when a nursing home resident is not getting sufficient nutrition, they are in danger. Malnutrition can lead to many complications, and one of those is bedsores. Food and water are essential to preventing bedsores, and every patient should get the nutrition they need.
Nutrition will also be crucial to recovering from bedsores, and specialists will include food and water in the treatment plan. Lack of protein, zinc, and vitamin C are risk factors that can lead to pressure sores. Residents need meat, eggs, and dairy in their diets for protein, zinc, and fruits and vegetables for vitamin C.
You must speak with the facility’s nutrition specialists if there are issues with solid foods or allergies. Diet changes can go a long way in preventing and treating bed sores, so review your loved one’s nutrition plan.
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Bedsore Prevention Checklist
Since bedsores are preventable, here is a checklist of tasks the nursing home facility should participate in to circumvent these injuries. The Southaven nursing home bedsore attorneys at GKBM have created the following checklist:
- Repositioning the patient every two hours they are in bed and every 15 minutes in a wheelchair
- Using a wound vac on current bedsores
- Using creams per treatment plan on bedsores
- Using donut cushions in wheelchairs or chairs
- Special air loss mattress
- Plastic surgery for severe wounds to close off bedsores and prevent infection
- Proper nutrition and hydration of the patient
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When your loved one suffers from bedsore, you must contact nursing home bedsore attorneys to take legal action. While the goal is to recover compensation for you and your losses, there are other results from taking legal action. Since these injuries are preventable, many questions will arise, including from the state, who can conduct an independent investigation and even put the facility on notice.
The nursing home will need to investigate its policies and staff, which can lead to significant changes. There are no excuses for bedsores. A bedsore lawsuit in MS leads to better patient care for all residents in the facility.
Nursing homes will try to use the excuse that the patient is bedridden and that sores are common, but that is a lie. Caregivers can prevent bedsores in bedridden patients by repositioning them and ensuring they get proper mobility exercises.
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At the first sign of a bedsore, you must take action, take pictures, and file a report with the nursing home facility. You must contact a Southaven nursing home bedsore lawyer from Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu, & Montesi, PLC. Our Southaven nursing home bedsore lawyers will work to recover compensation for your loved one to cover medical costs, mental anguish, and pain and suffering.
A legal claim will also result in substantial changes in the nursing home facility, leading to better patient care and policies.