Understanding Bedsore Injuries in Nursing Homes
Nursing home abuse can be devastating, especially when you realize that your elderly loved one endured mistreatment or neglect for a period of time in a nursing home or assisted-living facility. While many of us think about nursing home abuse in terms of intentional physical or emotional abuse, it is critical to remember that nursing home abuse can also include passive neglect. To be sure, even if staff members at a nursing home do not intend to cause any harm, but due to understaffing or other issues, patients do not receive the level of care they require, any injuries can still result from nursing home negligence.
Bedsores Can Vary in Severity
According to the Mayo Clinic, bedsores “are injuries to skin and underlying tissue resulting from prolonged pressure on the skin.” Bedsores, which are also known as pressure ulcers, typically develop over a period of hours or days. When bedsores are quickly identified and treated, patients usually heal. However, it is important to understand that bedsores can vary greatly in terms of severity, and nursing home patients who are negligently left unattended for many hours or even days can develop life-threatening bedsores. WebMD explains the four stages of bedsores:
● Stage 1 bedsores, which are the mildest stage of bedsores and typically affect just the top layer of a person’s skin;
● Stage 2 bedsores, which occur when “the sore digs deeper below the surface of your skin” and “leaves an open wound, or looks like a pus-filled blister”;
● Stage 3 bedsores, which “have gone through the second layer of skin into the fat tissue” and will have clear signs of infection that will require antibiotics and other treatment; and
● Stage 4 bedsores, which are the most serious of types of bedsores given that they can affect a person’s muscles and ligaments, and may require surgery.
Bedsores in Nursing Homes are Frequently Indicators of Negligence or Neglect
Bedsores are never a normal aspect of living in a nursing home or a skilled nursing facility in New York. Indeed, bedsores are nearly always indicators of negligence or neglect at a nursing home. If a patient or resident is receiving the amount of regular care and attention that should be expected at the facility, that patient or resident should never develop bedsores.
In particular, when bedsores are severe—beyond Stage 1 bedsores as we described above—it is possible that the nursing home and its staff member may be responsible for willful and wanton negligence, opening up the possibility of punitive damages to punish the facility for its egregious inaction.
Nursing Homes Can be Liable for Passive Neglect
When a nursing home patient suffers from bedsores, it is likely that the nursing home is responsible for neglect. To be clear, a nursing home or other related facility can be liable for passive neglect when a resident suffers harm. You should seek advice from a New York nursing home negligence attorney about filing a claim for financial compensation through which you can hold the nursing home accountable for the injuries it has caused.
Contact a New York Nursing Home Negligence Lawyer for Assistance
If you or someone you love suffered from bedsores in a New York nursing home, you may be eligible to file a nursing home neglect lawsuit against the facility. One of the experienced New York nursing home negligence attorneys at our firm can assist you with your claim. Contact Leitner Varughese, PLLC to begin working on your case with one of our lawyers.