My Loved One Has Bedsores, Can This Be Considered Negligence?
As elderly individuals are placed in nursing homes, their loved ones have likely researched the best care facilities in the area, and believe that they are placing their loved ones in good hands. But, what happens when you discover that your loved one has severe bedsores or other physical harm that was not present before? Here, the Baltimore medical and nursing home malpractice attorneys at The Law Office of Evan K. Thalenberg, P.A. discuss the dangers of bedsores, risk factors for elderly individuals, and when to contact professional counsel about the matter.
What Are Bedsores?
Simply put, bedsores, also called pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers, is a wound or injury to the skin and underlying tissue caused by prolonged pressure to the skin. Bedsores are most commonly found on bony areas of the body, such as the heels, ankles, hips, tailbone and even the back of the head. Bedsores are generally caused by constant pressure or friction on an area of the skin, which results in decreased blood flow to the area. In turn, the skin and tissue in the compressed area do not receive the nutrients they need to survive, harming layers of the skin.
Bedsores are categorized in four stages based on severity, and severe bedsores at the hands of a nursing home or other medical facility may be cause for negligence and malpractice suits. Stage 1 occurs when the skin is red and feels warm to the touch, has a blue or purple tint and itches or burns. Stage 2 occurs when the area looks more damaged and may have open sores or blisters, leading to greater pain. Stage 3 occurs when the area has a crater-like appearance due to the damage to the skin, and Stage 4 occurs when the area is severely damaged, and muscles, bones and joints may be exposed.
Why Are Bedsores Dangerous?
Bedsores can be dangerous, especially when they are in the third or fourth stage, leading to severe pain, infection and additional health concerns. At the later stages, bedsores can become extremely difficult to treat, and infections can quickly spread to bones causing a condition known as osteomyelitis, or spread to the blood causing sepsis. If the infection is severe enough and not treated properly, individuals may have to have amputation on the extremity the bedsores are present on. Not only is this cause for fear, frustration and anger on the part of the victim and their loved ones, many of these individuals are already at risk of health concerns from age. Preventable bedsores left untreated by staff members in medical facilities or nursing homes are cause for negligence and malpractice lawsuits.
When Should I Suspect Negligence?
If you are concerned that the nursing home or medical facility that your loved one is in is taking part in negligent practices, do not hesitate to speak with professional counsel, such as the qualified medical and nursing home malpractice attorneys at The Law Office of Evan K. Thalenberg, P.A. Bedsores are absolutely preventable, and should be caught and treated properly at Stage 1 or Stage 2 by qualified nursing home staff. If Stage 3 or 4 bedsores are present on your loved one’s body, and they have continued to go untreated with no adequate response by the facility they are in, it is imperative that you speak to a team of qualified attorneys to help you fight for the compensation you and your family deserve.
Speak With Nursing Home Malpractice Attorneys at The Law Office of Evan K. Thalenberg, P.A.
At The Law Office of Evan K. Thalenberg, P.A., it is our top priority to represent individuals and families in need. We strive to be a voice for those who have fallen victim to negligent practices on the part of a medical facility or nursing home, and want our clients to know that they will be advocated for throughout the entirety of the legal process. To learn more about how our qualified medical malpractice attorneys can help your family get the compensation you deserve, contact our Baltimore office today.