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St. Charles Nursing Home Bed Sores Lawyer
Pressure sores or pressure ulcers, more commonly known as bed sores, are painful skin conditions caused by sustained pressure when a person remains in one position for too long. Bed sores are common ailments among elderly or bedridden individuals who can only move with assistance.
Bed sores generally occur in nursing home residents, many of whom are physically disabled, overweight, and who may suffer from dementia. Some are patients recovering from injuries or surgery. These residents require assistance to ensure that they turn frequently to prevent bed sores.
Friction or too much moisture on the skin makes pressure sores worse. Once they occur, bed sores can take months to heal, can be extremely painful, and make existing health problems more difficult to manage. At its worse, the wound can go deep down to the bone, making it easy for infections to set in that can result in the resident’s death.
What causes bed sores?
Bed sores develop on the bony protrusions of the body when prolonged pressure is applied on that area. Areas that are prone to bed sores include the hips, buttocks, coccyx, heels, shoulders, back of the legs, as well as other areas where pressure is unrelieved.
Residents who are unable to move are likely to develop bed sores if staff members charged with their care fail to reposition them regularly to relieve the continuous pressure.
Lack of cleanliness is also a major factor in causing and aggravating bedsores. Sadly, this is a common occurrence at nursing homes and other facility-based long-term care services.
Residents are sometimes left for hours to lie on their own excrement or urine. Every time this happens, the waste’s acidic property tends to break down the skin, leading to developing a bed sore or worsening an existing condition. Skin which can potentially develop a bed sore should be cleaned and dried immediately after an episode of incontinence.
Once a pressure sore gets infected, it puts the resident in grave risk of developing a systemic infection all over their body. This condition is known as sepsis which is very hard to treat and often leads to death.
A nursing home resident’s risk of developing a bedsore increases with the following factors:
- Residents who need assistance in getting in and out of bed
- Residents with an existing condition of bed sores
- Residents with very limited mobility
- Poor nutritional condition of the resident
- Increased moisture on resident’s skin
- Raised body temperature
- Poor blood circulation and oxygen supply in the tissue
- Poor overall health condition
- Deficiency in sensory perception
- Old age
What are required of nursing home caregivers?
Nursing home caregivers must make sure that immobile residents do not develop bedsores by doing the following:
- Keeping their residents clean and provided with clean, dry beddings
- Making sure that bedridden residents who have limited mobility are moved regularly
- Relieving pressure with the help of pillows and padding
Federal regulations that broadly detail the duties of nursing home staff for the prevention and treatment of bed sores include:
- Nursing home residents with mobility problems need to be turned at regular intervals 24 hours a day. Residents must also be inspected to ensure that they are not developing early stages of bed sore
- Observation and treatment of bed sore at an early stage can halt its development and give it a better chance to heal before the condition worsens.
- Nursing home caregivers should provide toilet care and change a resident’s clothes regularly, particularly if the patient struggles with incontinence.
- Nursing home caregivers must make sure residents receives proper nutrition and hydration so they can develop better immunity and resistance against infections.
If the resident still develops bed sores in spite of regular treatments, the caregivers must provide appropriate care before the condition worsens and becomes potentially fatal. The open wounds in advanced stage bed sore can make the patient susceptible to infections and require a more aggressive treatment.
Legal help to claim damages for bed sores
Bed sores can potentially cause the death of a nursing home resident who develops them. Caregivers must see that they take preventive measures and provide effective bed sore treatment if sores develop. Failing to do so may be grounds for a claim of negligence by the patient against the caretaker for injuries they endured.
Bed sore sufferers can go through extreme pain that can sometimes last a long time due to the negligence and irresponsible treatment from the caregivers. Extreme bed sore cases may result in a patient’s death from infection and their survivors can file a suit against the nursing home caregivers for wrongful death.
As with other personal injury claims, these factors can help determine a nursing home’s negligence:
- The defendant (the nursing home) is responsible for the victim’s care, meaning it has an obligation to prevent bed sores and to treat them if they developed.
- The defendant neglected its duty of caregiving, either deliberately or through carelessness.
- The victim’s injury, infection, suffering, or possibly death came directly as a result of the defendant’s failure to perform their duty of caregiving.
Do you need legal help? Contact us
Bed sores are very painful and serious and should be prevented. Nursing home staff and caregivers are trained and expected to provide responsible care to bedridden patients.
Did a nursing home staff fail to provide proper bed sore treatment for your bedridden loved one which resulted in sepsis or other serious condition? If it did, we believe that victims should be compensated for a caregiver’s negligence. Has your elderly or disabled loved one in a nursing home suddenly become ill and passed away? This sudden death may be suspicious and should be investigated.
Our St. Charles Nursing Home Bed Sores Lawyers at Shea Kohl Law, LC can assess your case. If we find evidence of neglect and irresponsible treatment, we can help you seek compensation which may then lead a facility to correct poor caregiving practices.
Contact us immediately if you want to review a case in the St. Charles area or have questions regarding bed sores or other complications resulting from nursing home negligence. We ensure that our clients are well represented and that their rights are defended throughout the entire legal process.
Contact our St. Charles Nursing Home Bed Sores Lawyers at Shea Kohl Law, LC at (636) 946-9999 to discuss your legal options. You can also email us through our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.
Call Shea Kohl Law, LC at (636) 946-9999
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Shea Kohl Law, LC serves clients in Missouri including St. Charles, Troy and Lincoln and throughout Warren and St. Louis counties. We also serve clients in Illinois.