Bed sores are also known as pressure ulcers, pressure sores, or decubitus ulcers, and are areas of damaged skin and tissue which develop from sustained pressure – usually from lying in a bed or sitting in a wheelchair – which cuts off circulation to parts of the body. Bed sores are completely preventable. Essentially, when caregivers fail to take steps to prevent a resident from prolonged pressure, bed sores develop. Without adequate blood flow, which would occur in the turning and moving of a patient, the affected tissue dies and bed sores develop.
Bedsores are extremely painful, difficult to treat, and result in substantial medical bills and other personal losses. If you or a family member developed bedsores in a California nursing home or assisted living facility because of neglect, working with an experienced elder abuse attorney is in your best interests.
How are Bed Sores Caused?
Bed sores are generally preventable and for that reason are a classic sign of elder neglect. Due to the lower staffing in nursing homes, residents are forced to wait longer for care such as repositioning in bed or changing of soiled linens. This withholding of timely and essential care causes the elder’s skin to weaken from the moisture and pressure, making them more susceptible to bed sores.
If you are immobilized, bed sores can be caused by sustained pressure which restricts blood flow, often the result of when your skin and the underlying tissue are trapped between bone and a surface like a bed or a wheelchair. This restriction deprives the tissue of oxygen. It tends to happen in areas of your body that are leaner and aren’t well padded with muscle or fat that lie just over the bone. People commonly develop bed sores on the coccyx (tailbone), hips, elbows, heels, and shoulder blades.
A well-versed bedsores lawyer could explain how careless treatment in California nursing homes can lead to these painful injuries.
Stages of Pressure Sores
A bed sore is rated in stages depending on its devastation to the body. There are four bed sore stages which increase in severity, as a knowledgeable attorney can further explain. The severity of the injuries may determine what damages can be recovered through a nursing home abuse claim.
Recovering for Short-Term and Long-Term Losses from Bedsores
Treating bed sores is challenging, which is why prevention is the best medicine. Bed sores are slow to heal because skin and other tissues have already been damaged or destroyed. Therefore, healing is never perfect. Unfortunately, some victims of preventable bed sores never heal and these injuries can and do lead to death.
Speak with a California Attorney about Nursing Home Bedsore Litigation
If you believe that your elderly loved one has developed a bed sore injury as a result of abuse or neglect, it is important to seek help right away. A nursing home abuse attorney can help you and your loved one by pursuing legal action against the nursing home or assisted living facility responsible for these injuries. Call today to schedule a meeting.