Assisted living facilities are required to provide reasonable care to their residents. When they fail to do so, you may have grounds to sue.
At Distasio Law Firm, our well-practiced attorneys have experience seeking damages on behalf of residents who develop bedsores in Wesley Chapel nursing homes. Call a committed nursing home abuse attorney such as Scott Distasio today to get started on your claim.
What Is a Bedsore?
A bedsore, also known as a pressure sore or ulcer, or decubitus ulcer, is a condition that forms due to prolonged pressure on the skin, preventing blood flow. This causes the skin to break down over time, starting as a rash or redness and eventually turning into a blister. If left untreated, the blister can break, damage the muscle, and even reach the bone.
Bedsores commonly affect the elderly, those who are bedridden, and those who use wheelchairs or have limited mobility. However, nursing home staff in Wesley Chapel can help prevent bedsores by regularly repositioning people prone to them, reducing the pressure on their skin.
Types of Bedsores
There are four recognized stages of pressure sores:
This is the mildest form of bedsore. The skin may be painful, but it is not broken or torn. A reddened area is present on the skin that does not turn white when pressed.
The skin has broken open, and there is a visible scrape or blister on the surface. The sore may be tender or painful to the touch.
The pressure sore extends through the tissue beneath the skin, forming a small crater-like wound. Fat may be visible around the edges, as well as yellowish-tissue and an unpleasant odor.
This is the most severe type of bedsore. The injury is a deep, open wound that extends through all skin, muscle, and even bone. Extensive damage to tissues, tendons, and joints may occur.
Deep Tissue Injury
Another type of pressure ulcer is a deep tissue injury (DTI), which occurs differently from the four stages above. Instead of starting from the outside and moving inward over time as there is more pressure, a DTI occurs when the tissue is compromised due to prolonged pressure without movement, such as during surgery.
A DTI starts from the inside out, with the area closest to the bone and muscles being damaged first. This may appear externally as a deep purple bruise, but in reality, the muscle and skin are already dead due to the blood supply being cut off for an extended period.
Bedsores Can Lead to Severe Harm
If left untreated, pressure sores can cause a person excruciating pain and lasting damage. Examples of this include:
- Serious infection
- Sepsis: A life-threatening condition that occurs when the body’s immune system overreacts to an infection
- Prolonged hospitalization
- Decreased mobility
When your loved one suffers any of the above effects after developing bedsores in their Wesley Chapel nursing home, do not hesitate to reach out to a capable attorney at Distasio Law Firm.
Pressure Sore Prevention and Treatment
The first and most important treatment for bedsores is prevention, which involves a nursing home implementing a risk scale to identify residents at risk of developing pressure sores and then regularly turning and repositioning them to improve blood flow.
Once bedsores occur, it is essential for nursing home staff to recognize them quickly. Early intervention involves immediately turning and repositioning the resident and applying creams and ointments to help the area heal. However, if the bedsores progress to stage 3 or 4, treatment options become limited, and surgery may be necessary to remove the dead tissue and promote healing. In such cases, grafting may be required to close the wound, and a wound vac may be used to slowly remove dead tissue and fluid from the affected area.
Bedsores Are Warning Signs of Nursing Home Negligence
Bedsores can be a warning sign of nursing home negligence or abuse because they indicate that there may not be enough staff to properly care for elderly residents. Pressure sores are common among the elderly, especially those with fragile skin, and can occur when they are not turned or repositioned regularly.
While most nursing home staff may generally want to do the right thing when caring for residents, they may prioritize other tasks—such as serving meals or attending to urgent medical needs—over repositioning residents in bed. The development of pressure ulcers suggests that there may be a staffing shortage or a conscious or subconscious decision to neglect the proper care of residents in a Wesley Chapel nursing home.
Holding Negligent Nursing Homes Accountable for Your Loved One’s Bedsores
Pressure sores can have devastating consequences for those who develop them, especially elderly residents who are already more susceptible to infections. If a bedsore has affected your loved one during a stay at a nursing home, you could pursue legal action with the guidance of a skilled lawyer at Distasio Law Firm.
Our seasoned attorneys know that bedsores in Wesley Chapel nursing homes indicate negligence or abuse, as they frequently occur when staff members do not have enough time to properly care for their residents. Our dedicated legal professionals could help you file a lawsuit against a negligent care facility seeking fair compensation for your loved one’s injuries. Call today to learn more.