Bedsores, also known as pressure sores or decubitus ulcers, are open sores that are caused by unrelenting pressure on an area of the body for an extended period of time. They are extremely painful and can become very serious and potentially fatal if left untreated.
There are several elements that contribute to bedsores, many of which may stem from nursing home neglect. For instance, if a person is left lying in bed with wet sheets that remain unchanged, or if an elderly person hasn't had their diaper changed in a lengthy period of time, these may cause bedsores.
There are other causes as well, such as malnutrition and dehydration. If the nursing home resident is not being fed or given enough water, this can attribute to bedsores.
If an elderly person is unable to move on his/her own, than it may be necessary to help reposition or move the individual on a regular basis to ensure that s/he does not remain in a single position for too long. If they remain immobile for a lengthy period of time, this can cause decubitus ulcers to form on various parts of their bodies.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), about 11 percent of all United States nursing home residents had bedsores.
There are certain types of people who are more at risk of bedsores due to nursing home neglect than others. These include, but are not limited to, people who are:
Typically, bedsores are divided into four stages, with increasing severity.
Stage 1: The bedsore is not yet an open wound, but the skin may cause pain. When you press your finger against the skin, it doesn't blanch (turn whiter). If it is a darker-skinned person, then the skin color may appear to be different than the nearby skin (not necessarily red).
Stage 2: The skin either breaks open or forms an ulcer, and can be very painful. The sore goes into the deeper layers of skin and can look like a blister or a scrape. At this stage, some of the skin may be damaged beyond repair.
Stage 3: The sore further deteriorates the skin making it into a small crater. There may be some fat that shows in the sore, but no muscle or bone.
Stage 4: At this stage, the sore is very deep. The sore may reach bone, muscle, and potentially, joints and tendons.
There are some sores that don't belong in a stage, and others that cannot be confirmed. There are certain situations where the sore is so bad that the doctor cannot see how far the sore has gone to determine the stage. Obviously, this is not an all-inclusive list of symptoms.
If the bedsores occurred as a result of irresponsible care by nursing home staff, then the victim could be entitled to compensation for their injuries. If they happened to have died because of the bedsores, then some of their loved ones may be able to recover compensation for their losses.
If you are unsure about what your rights are, don't panic. At Kahn Roven, LLP, we offer a free consultation to answer any and all of your legal questions to the best of our abilities.
Call our Los Angeles nursing home neglect attorneys now by dialing toll-free (844) 9-INJURED. Or you can simply contact us via our website.
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