Our Michigan nursing home nursing home neglect lawyers file lawsuits for residents who suffer pressure sores and bedsores and decubtus ulcers in nursing homes. With proper care and monitoring, these sores should either be prevented or timely diagnosed so that prompt treatment can be given. Too often, it is a family members that first sees the bedsore and alerts the staff and by this time the sore and infection cannot be controlled.
Pressure ulcers, also known as bedsores or pressure sores, often occur in persons who cannot move around easily. The skin and tissue underneath break down from continued pressure and poor circulation. When the skin breaks down, it becomes red. Open sores develop after the skin changes. In severe cases, the pressure ulcer causes destruction of muscle or even bone underneath the skin, called osteomyelitis.
Pressure ulcers usually occur in persons who have predisposing risk factors, such as poor nutrition, continued moisture (especially from urine or feces), confinement to a bed or wheelchair, and other medical problems (especially spinal cord injury, hip fracture, or dementia).
The most important step to prevent pressure sores is to avoid prolonged pressure on one part of the body, especially the pressure points. Frequent repositioning of the resident by the nursing home staff is necessary to avoid long periods of pressure. Foam wedges and cushions are also used as positioning devices to relieve pressure.
Stages of Bedsores
The National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP) created a process for evaluating pressure sores based on a system that spans from Stage I (earliest signs) to Stage IV (most advanced):
Stage I: A reddened area on the skin that when pressed is "non-blanchable" (does not turn white). This indicates that a pressure ulcer is starting to develop.
Stage II: The skin blisters or forms an open sore. The area around the sore may be red and irritated.
Stage III: The skin breakdown now looks like a crater, where there is damage to the tissue below the skin.
Stage IV: The pressure ulcer has become so deep that there is damage to the muscle and bone, and sometimes tendons and joints.
Prevention of Bed Sores
In nursing home residents with significant predisposing factors, it is important to assess the resident's risk for pressure sores and develop a prevention plan. The most widely used plan by medical providers for predicting a patient’s likelihood to develop pressure sores is the Braden Scale. This scale scores various factors to determine the risk of the resident for bedsores, which includes the patient's mobility, ability to sense pain, nutritional status, and mental status.
Nursing homes are negligent if they do not properly assess the resident for the likelihood of developing a bed sore, if they do not turn the patient on a regular schedule, do not bathe the patient on a regular schedule. The nursing staff is required to regularly assess the resident's skin condition to find any areas of skin breakdown and notify the physician of any skin tears or sores. Finally, they are negligent if they do not properly treat the patient after the diagnosis of a pressure sore.
Filing a Michigan Bedsore Lawsuit
Bedsore lawsuits seek settlements and compensation for nursing home residents who suffer these painful sores due to negligent care by the nursing staff. Many residents require hospitalization and even surgery due to infections and sepsis. When a resident dies from complications of a bedsore, the family can file a wrongful death lawsuit.
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Contact Our Michigan Bedsore Lawyers
Our experienced nursing home neglect attorneys are eager to start working on your case if you or someone you care about suffered from serious bedsores in a skilled nursing care facility. We charge no legal fees unless there is a settlement and we pay all of the case costs and expenses. Call us now at (800) 606-1717 to get started on your case. There are strict time deadlines so call today!