Help For Nursing Home Bedsore Victims
When a nursing home resident is left in their bed for too long or experiences other forms of prolonged pressure against the skin, bedsores can develop and cause serious injuries. Bedsores happen to more than 10% of the residents in a nursing home. Thankfully, we can help you hold the responsible party accountable for harming your loved one in a nursing home. At Ford, Dean & Rotundo, P.A., our attorneys have been representing nursing home residents for years and have secured millions of dollars on their behalf.
Bedsores – otherwise known as pressure sores or decubitus ulcers – are extremely painful wounds that result from staying in the same position for too long. The body’s weight and lack of blood circulation create sores in areas such as the hips, heels, sacrum and buttocks. Left untreated, they can cause deep tissue damage, penetrating into muscle tissue and bone. They can also lead to life-threatening infections – especially in patients whose health is already compromised.
What Does A Bedsore Look Like?
You can identify a bedsore by its red or discolored area on the skin. The afflicted area can feel warm or appear swollen and tender. If the bedsore has been neglected for too long, then the skin can break down, exposing fluids and forming an open wound. In extreme cases, the wound can expose muscle tissue, tendons and bones. If you suspect your loved one is suffering from a bedsore, it is vital that they get medical attention immediately.
What Causes Bedsores?
Bedsores are completely avoidable with proper care. When a patient develops these sores, it’s a sure sign of neglect.
Bedsores often develop when nursing staff fails to:
- Turn and reposition the patient every two hours
- Inspect the patient’s skin on a regular basis
- Promptly obtain a pressure-relieving mattress when warranted
In hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living facilities, it’s the responsibility of staff members to prevent bedsores. They’re also responsible for identifying sores and securing proper treatment.
How Are Bedsores Treated?
Depending on the severity of the bedsore, there are several levels of care that may be necessary for treatment:
- Reliving pressure from the bedsore, often through the use of special mattresses and pillows
- Cleaning and dressing the wound to avoid infection or worsening conditions
- Removing dead or infected tissue, otherwise known as debridement
- Prescribing medications to fight infection and treat any pain
- Surgery for extreme cases that can call for a skin graft
It is important that someone suffering from a bedsore seek medical attention to ensure that they are getting the help they need to fully recover.
How Severe Are They?
Bedsores start at Stage I, as red patches of irritated skin. They’re highly treatable at this stage. However, they can quickly deteriorate if they’re not caught and cared for. Once these wounds progress to Stage II, III or IV, they become much more difficult to treat – and to survive.
Severe sores require immediate transfer to a hospital or better-equipped care facility. In fact, Florida law makes it illegal for assisted living facilities to continue caring for residents with Stage III or IV bedsores. They simply aren’t capable of meeting these patients’ needs. Failure to transfer patients in these situations is a serious example of negligence.
Get Help For Your Loved One
If your loved one has developed bedsores, bruises, abrasions or suspicious wounds during a stay in a hospital or nursing home, neglect may have played a role. At Ford, Dean & Rotundo, P.A., we can help you evaluate the situation. Our bedsore lawyers provide caring and compassionate representation for victims of neglect.
Based in Miami, our attorneys have stood up for the rights of vulnerable people across Florida for years. They have a strong record of results in bedsore cases, including:
- $17 million in a fatal case involving Stage IV bedsores
- $12.3 million in a similar case
- $975,000 in another fatal bedsore case
- $650,000 in a Stage IV bedsore case, where the patient eventually recovered
When you come to us for help, our bedsore attorneys in Florida will look carefully into whether your loved one has been abused or neglected. You can rely on us to conduct a thorough investigation, file appropriate lawsuits, hire the best experts and work hard to obtain justice for you and your loved one.