Residents in nursing homes are often are often susceptible to bedsores, often referred to as pressure sores, pressure ulcers, or decubitus ulcers, when they are left for prolonged periods in a bed or chair without being properly cared for, monitored, and moved. If you discover that your loved one is not getting the care they need and are suffering due to negative health consequences related to bedsores or pressure ulcers, an Omaha bedsore lawyer from Welsh & Welsh may be able to help you protect your loved one.
At Welsh & Welsh, our experienced attorneys can help you file a legal claim against the facility that is mistreating your loved one and allowing them to develop painful sores which can lead to life-threatening consequences. We fiercely protect the rights of Nebraska senior citizens and will be at your side every step of the way.
How Common Are Bedsores in Nursing Homes?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), residents in nursing homes often suffer from bed sore injuries. Their findings are from the 2004 National Nursing Home Survey:
- 159,000 U.S. nursing home residents had pressure ulcers.
- Residents the age of 64 and under were more likely to have pressure ulcers than older residents.
- Residents who were at the home longer were less likely to have pressure ulcers than those who had been in the home for a year or less.
- One in five nursing home residents who had pressure ulcers had gone through a recent weight loss.
- 35 percent of people with more severe pressure ulcers received special wound services.
Keeping these numbers in mind, you may be worried about your loved one’s health in their nursing home. Other signs of poor nutrition, poor mobility, and poor hygiene may also mean that neglect may be occuring. The lawyers at Welsh & Welsh will carefully investigate your case to find how your loved one was hurt and who is liable. We’ll do everything possible to get them the justice they deserve.
How Are Bedsores Formed?
Residents in neglectful nursing homes may not be seen by nurses for hours on end. When nurses can’t get to all their residents in a timely manner, everyone suffers. This can be especially dangerous for bedridden residents. They may be stuck in the same position on their bed for too long, which can result in bed sores. They’re caused by prolonged pressure on the skin, which irritates the tissue underneath. Seniors are at risk if they are immobile, lack healthy nutrition and hydration, and have medical conditions that affect blood flow.
Pressure ulcers or pressure injuries have four stages of injury:
- Stage 1. This is the beginning stage. For people with lighter skin colors, the sore will appear red. For people with darker skin colors, the area of the sore will look different than the skin surrounding it. While the sore is painful, the skin hasn’t broken.
- Stage 2. There is skin breakage at this stage and an ulcer forms. As the sore reaches to further layers of skin, it also appears to look like a blister and is painful.
- Stage 3. The sore continues to reach deeper and it gets to the tissue underneath the skin. It forms a crater.
- Stage 4. The sore now reaches bones, muscles, and joints and can cause severe damage.
If you’re concerned about your loved one being left in their bed for too long and suspect injury, it’s important to know what a bedsore looks like so you can get your loved one the care they need.
Recognizing the Symptoms of Bedsores
Pressure sores have a few distinct signs you can look for if you think your loved one may have them. Some of those signs are:
- Unusual Skin Color or Texture
- Pus-Like Drainage
Those who are in bed for long periods of time may develop sores on their head, shoulders, hips, tailbone, behind their knees, or around the ankles.
Bed Sores Can Lead to Major Injuries
While some bed sore injuries can be minor, ones that are left unchecked and untreated can cause serious injury to the muscle and bone. The injuries can cause infections like:
- Cellulitis. The skin and soft tissue become infected and are often red or swollen.
- Bone or Joint Infections. These infections may damage tissue in the surrounding areas or affect the mobility of the bone or joint.
- Cancer. If the wounds have been there for a long time and aren’t getting treatment, the ulcers can turn cancerous.
Long-term negligence of bedsores usually leads to serious infections and injuries, but had the besores been properly treated and/or prevented, the resulting injuries could have been avoided altogether. You should be able to depend on the nursing home to care for your loved one and can take legal action when they don’t.
Protect Your Loved One with an Omaha Bedsore Lawyer
You can protect your loved one’s rights with an Omaha nursing home abuse lawyer from Welsh & Welsh. Our attorneys are compassionate and experienced people who understand what you’re going through and will do everything possible to help you and your loved one. Get in touch with us today for a free consultation.