Loved One Developed Bedsores at a Nursing Home?
Our Experienced Lawyers Can Help Determine If the Facility Can Be Held Liable
Bedsores are injuries or lesions that develop on specific areas of the skin and underlying tissue as a result of prolonged pressure. Also called pressure ulcers, they most often appear on skin covering bony areas of the body such as the hips, tailbone, ankles and heels. At nursing homes and elder care facilities, staff must frequently reposition residents who have limited mobility, which helps prevent bedsores. Proper nutrition, adequate fluid intake and good skin care are also factors that reduce the risk of bedsores. If your loved one developed bedsores in a nursing home, then the facility may be held liable if the bedsore was a result of neglect. In New Jersey, nursing home abuse and neglect is on the rise, so you need a lawyer familiar with bedsore issues if you suspect substandard care.
The attorneys at Keefe Law Firm offer personal injury representation to individuals harmed in nursing homes as a result of negligence or neglect. We understand the emotional toll of placing a loved one in a long term care facility only to learn that the care providers you trusted allowed your loved one to become injured or ill. Our attorneys have years of experience handling cases involving pressure ulcers in nursing homes. Contact our New Jersey bedsore lawsuit attorneys for an evaluation of the facts and circumstances of your case. We can help you move your loved one to another facility so that he or she gets proper care. Then, we can assist you in filing a claim against the negligent facility to effect change and protect future residents from neglect.
What Are the Dangers of Bedsores?
Extended periods of lying or sitting in a stationary position in a chair, wheelchair or bed can cause bedsores. The constant pressure of sitting or lying in the same position damages areas of skin and tissue. Pressure restricts blood flow to tissue which may, in time, cause the tissue to die. As a result, patients develop lesions or ulcerated sores. In most cases, bedsores are extremely painful and may take a long time to heal.
Doctors classify pressure ulcers from Stage I to Stage IV, depending on the severity of the wound. Treating bedsores is relatively easy during early stage development through frequent repositioning and medication. However, effective treatment is much more difficult for Stage III and Stage IV bedsores. These sores could take months to heal, although they may never fully heal. Even minor nursing home bedsores may become infected, especially if neglect or negligence is a factor.
To prevent serious injury, loved ones should remain alert for early warning signs of bedsores, which include:
- Abnormal changes in skin texture or color
- Skin is overly tender or sensitive
- Areas of skin feel warmer or cooler to the touch than other areas
- Pus-like drainage
If you loved one is in a skilled nursing facility and you notice the above warning signs, then it may be a sign that staff are neglecting to reposition residents frequently enough.
Speak with your loved one, if possible, about his or her daily routines. Keeps notes or a journal of your observations, including dates and times. Then, consult with the treating doctor to determine the cause of these changes. Contact a bedsore lawyer for help if you suspect abuse, neglect or negligence.
When Is a Nursing Home Liable for Bedsores?
You rely on nursing home staff to care for your loved one(s) and treat all residents with respect and dignity. Unfortunately, the opposite is too frequently the case. Nursing home neglect and abuse is a widespread problem that affects people across the United States. Elder abuse is any action or inaction, intentional or otherwise, that cause harm or create a serious risk of harm to a senior. Most often, a caregiver or other person who stands in a trusted relationship to the elderly person is responsible. This happens frequently in nursing care facilities, although at-home caregivers may perpetrate such abuse and neglect as well.
When elder abuse and/or neglect occurs in a nursing home, then that facility may be liable for your loved one’s injuries. Bedsores are one of the most common signs of a negligent nursing home, since they should never happen when staff is competent and attentive. If you believe neglect or abuse caused your loved one to develop pressure ulcers, then take action and call an attorney.
Taking on a nursing home by reporting abuse or neglect can seem overwhelming. However, it is critical that you report the abuse and take steps to hold the care facility accountable. In many cases, filing a claim is the best way to keep your loved one and others safe and healthy. Document the facts and circumstances. Then, speak to a legal professional right away to ensure that the next steps you take are in your loved one’s best interests.
Loved One Suffer Bedsores? Contact a New Jersey Bedsore Lawyer Now
The attorneys of the Keefe Law Firm hold New Jersey nursing homes accountable when residents suffer from bedsores resulting from neglect. If you suspect that the pressure ulcers your loved one developed in a long-term care facility were avoidable, we may be able to help. We have assisted numerous families and elders recover from the harm they have experienced due to nursing home neglect.
Contact our office online or call (866) 575-5000 to speak with an attorney who can assess your situation and advise you on how to proceed.