Are Bed Sores a Sign of Nursing Home Negligence?
Bed sores are a common sign of nursing home negligence in New York and across the country. While these specific types of injuries are not typically intentional, nursing homes and assisted-living facilities can be responsible for the consequences of bed sores when they fail to provide a sufficient level of care to residents that would be necessary to prevent bed sores. According to the Mayo Clinic, bed sores (which are also known as either pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers) are a type of injury that initially affect the skin and that result from “prolonged pressure on the skin.” In many bed sore cases, nursing home residents develop pressure ulcers on areas of the body that are lightly covered bones, like the heels or ankles, or the hips or tailbone. However, it is important to know that bed sores can appear almost anywhere, and they can be prevented with proper care.
Our New York nursing home negligence lawyers can speak with you about filing a claim if you or an elderly loved one developed serious bed sore injuries in a nursing home. In the meantime, consider some of the following information about bed sores and how they frequently result from passive neglect.
Patients with Mobility Issues Can Develop Bed Sores
Residents or patients of nursing homes who have mobility issues are often most at risk of developing bed sores. Why do mobility issues increase a person’s risk for bed sore injuries? As Johns Hopkins Medicine clarifies, bed sores can develop “when blood supply to the skin is cut off for more than 2 to 3 hours.” Then, as a person’s “skin dies, the bed sore first starts as a red, painful area, which eventually turns purple.” When bed sores are left untreated for an extended period, they can require surgery and can, in some cases, be life-threatening injuries.
Nursing home residents with mobility problems are more commonly affected by bed sores because they cannot move to take the pressure off their skin. For example, residents who are confined to their beds after a recent surgical procedure or injury or residents who are confined to a wheelchair usually require assistance from nursing home staff members to move regularly so that too much pressure is not placed on certain areas of the body. When nursing home staff members fail to provide timely and adequate attention to nursing home residents with mobility issues, bed sores can develop. Further, when staff members fail to check on residents and properly identify bed sores, those injuries can worsen significantly.
Recognizing the Stages of Bed Sores
The severity of a bed sore injury is determined based on staging. Stage 1 bed sores can appear after only a couple of hours, and they typically can be treated so that they heal quickly.
Once bed sores reach Stage 2, Johns Hopkins explains that they have become an “open sore, scrape, or blister,” and they require medical treatment. At Stage 3, bed sores have a “crater-like appearance due to damage below the skin’s surface” and may require hospitalization. At Stage 4, bed sores have become life-threatening injuries that will have affected muscles and tendons below the skin. Immediate treatment is necessary.
Contact a New York Nursing Home Negligence Lawyer Today
Do you have concerns about an elderly loved one’s bed sore injuries and nursing home neglect? One of the New York nursing home negligence attorneys at our firm can assist you. Contact Leitner Varughese Warywoda PLLC today to find out more about filing a claim.