As experienced Atlanta nursing home abuse attorneys, Van Sant Law, has witnessed the devastating effect that an untreated bed sore can have on a senior citizen.
Also known as decubitus ulcers, pressure ulcers, and pressure sores, bed sores occur due to prolonged pressure on the skin. Bed sores most commonly develop on the hips, buttocks, ankles, and heels as well as other bony parts of the body. These sores can cause a number of unpleasant health complications such as deep wounds, fluid-filled blisters, and significant pain.
Additionally, bed sores can quickly develop on individuals who are either completely bedridden or those who spend a significant amount of time in a wheelchair or in bed.
Bed sores can be prevented by using specialized devices such as special cushions, supportive mattresses, and press-release wheelchairs. Additionally, a senior citizen may be less likely to develop bed sores if he or she is repositioned frequently, if protection is provided for vulnerable areas of his or her body, or if he or she takes proper care of the skin through adequate grooming and bathing. Unfortunately, in nursing homes where a resident may be unable to care for him or herself, bed sores can develop if the nursing home fails to take proper steps to prevent the development of these painful sores.
If you or someone you love has developed bed sores as a result of abusive or neglectful nursing home care, you may have legal recourse. Consider seeking legal counsel from an Atlanta nursing home abuse attorney who can assist you in taking action against the facility and help you to recover damages for losses, including pain and suffering, emotional distress, and the cost of treating the bed sores.
The Dangers of Bed Sores
According to the Mayo Clinic, depending on the severity, bed sores can be categorized in four stages. In stage one, the bed sores will begin to develop. The skin may appear purple, blue, ashen, or red, and will still be intact. The skin will not briefly lighten when touched, and the affected areas may differ in temperature and firmness from surrounding skin. The individual may complain of pain. In stage two, bed sores develop into an open wound. The outer layer of skin is damaged, and a fluid-filled blister or shallow wound is apparent. In stage three, bed sores progress to a deep wound. The wound becomes deep and resembles a crater, and fat is exposed due to skin loss. Yellow-colored dead tissue may be visible at the bottom of the wound. In stage four, individuals suffer from a large-scale loss of tissue. Tendons, bones, and muscles may be exposed as the wound adversely affects the layers of healthy skin.
It is often very difficult to treat bed sores once they develop, particularly if the condition has progressed to a later stage. Treatment methods may include surgical repair of the affected area as well as the use of mechanical or surgical debridement to remove the damaged tissue. Individuals who have developed bed sores may also require regular cleaning, antibiotics, and pain management. Unfortunately, complications such as joint and bone cancer and infection, cellulitis, and sepsis can occur due to non-healing wounds, making the condition much more difficult to treat.
Do You Need Assistance from a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer?
When bedsores occur due to a nursing home’s abusive or careless behavior, the facility should be held legally responsible for all costs associated with the senior citizen’s treatment as well as any pain or suffering that the neglect might have caused. Additionally, family members who have lost a loved one due to fatal complications caused by bed sores may consider seeking compensation from the nursing home to help to cover any funeral or burial expenses, loss of consortium, and other damages.
Taking legal action against a nursing facility can be a complex and difficult process. As such, it is important to seek legal counsel from an experienced nursing abuse attorney in Georgia to protect your legal rights. At Van Sant Law, we understand how emotionally traumatizing nursing home neglect and abuse cases can be. Our attorneys treat all of our clients with the respect that they deserve and passionately advocate for the rights of every senior citizen who has been a victim of nursing home abuse. Call us today at 404-991-5950 for more information about how we can help you to hold the nursing home responsible for any injuries or complications that have resulted from its neglect.