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  • Writer's pictureAdam Funk

Bed Sores: A Serious Injury Caused By Neglect

Bed Sores: A Serious Injury Caused By Neglect

Bed sores, also known as pressure ulcers or pressure injuries, are a serious medical condition that can develop when a person lies or sits in one position for too long. They are caused by a lack of blood flow to the skin, which can damage tissues and lead to open wounds. Bed sores are most common among individuals who are unable to move independently,such as those who are:

  • Hospitalized

  • In a nursing home

  • Confined to a wheelchair

While bed sores can develop at home, they are much more prevalent in healthcare settings. When a healthcare facility fails to take steps to prevent bed sores, it can be a sign of neglect, and you may be entitled to compensation for your damages.

Understanding Bed Sores

Bed sores can form on any part of the body, but they most commonly develop on bony areas such as the:

  • Heels

  • Ankles

  • Hips

  • Tailbone

  • Buttocks

  • Back of the head

  • Shoulders

There are four stages of bed sores, each with increasing severity:

  • Stage 1: The skin is red and may feel tender, but there is no open wound.

  • Stage 2: An open blister or shallow wound forms.

  • Stage 3: The wound deepens and may extend into the fatty tissue beneath the skin.

  • Stage 4: Muscle and bone may be visible. Serious infection can occur at this stage.

Preventing Bed Sores

Healthcare facilities have a legal responsibility to take steps to prevent bed sores. This includes:

  • Frequent repositioning: Turning and repositioning a patient every two hours or less is essential to relieve pressure on the skin.

  • Skin care: Keeping the skin clean and dry helps to prevent breakdown.

  • Proper nutrition and hydration: Good nutrition and hydration are essential for skin health and wound healing.

  • Pressure-relieving surfaces: Special mattresses and cushions can help to distribute pressure more evenly.

Bed Sores as a Sign of Neglect

If you or a loved one develops bed sores in a healthcare setting, it may be a sign of neglect. Here are some of the factors that can indicate neglect:

  • The facility was understaffed.

  • The staff was not properly trained on how to prevent bed sores.

  • The staff failed to follow the care plan for preventing bed sores.

  • Calls for assistance with repositioning were ignored.

The Cost of Bed Sores

Bed sores can be a significant financial burden for patients and their families. The costs associated with bed sores can include:

  • Hospitalization

  • Surgery

  • Skin grafts

  • Medication

  • Physical therapy

Compensation for Bed Sores

If you can prove that your bed sores were caused by neglect in a healthcare facility, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. This compensation can include:

  • Medical expenses

  • Pain and suffering

  • Lost wages

What to Do If You or a Loved One Has Bed Sores

If you or a loved one develops bed sores in a healthcare setting, it is important to take the following steps:

  • Document the bed sores: Take photographs of the bed sores and keep a record of the dates they were first noticed.

  • Report the bed sores to the facility: Let the facility know about the bed sores and ask them to investigate how they happened.

  • Keep copies of your medical records: Your medical records will be important evidence in your case.

  • Contact a personal injury attorney: An attorney can help you understand your legal rights and options.

We Can Help

If you or a loved one has suffered bed sores due to neglect in a healthcare facility, our experienced personal injury attorneys can help you fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Disclaimer: This blog post is for general informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. You should consult with an attorney to discuss your specific situation.

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