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February 2, 2022 | Gary Burger

Are Bedsores a Sign of Nursing Home Negligence?

Bedsores Are a Sign of Nursing Home Negligence. It can be troubling when a loved one in a nursing home complains of bedsores, or if you notice them on their body. Even though our bodies grow more frail as we age, you should almost never develop bedsores, and when they develop at a nursing home they are almost always a clear sign of nursing home negligence. If you or your loved one is suffering from bedsores and you suspect it is because of nursing home negligence, call the Missouri and Illinois nursing home negligence lawyers at Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online to discuss your legal options.

The Federal Government has made it very clear that nursing home residents should never develop bedsores unless their “clinical condition” makes them unavoidable. If your loved one is experiencing bedsores, it is almost certainly because of nursing home negligence.

What Are Bedsores?

Bedsores are also called pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers, and are caused by prolonged pressure to one area of the skin, resulting in a loss of blood flow to the area.

There are four stages of bedsores:

  • Stage 1. These bedsores only affect the upper layer of the skin. Symptoms and warning signs include:
    • Redness, or a blue or purple tint with darker skin
    • Pain
    • Burning sensation
    • Itching
    • Skin is firmer, softer, warmer or cooler than surrounding skin

    It’s important to be vigilant when your loved one complains of a bedsore, or you notice one on their skin. Stage 1 bedsores can be treated easily with padding, changing your loved one’s position and soap and water. They typically heal within two or three days. Inform the nurses or nursing home director – in writing – of your loved one’s bedsore. This ensures that they will properly treat the bedsore and also provide documentation should you move forward with a nursing home negligence case.

  • Stage 2. When a stage 1 bedsore is not treated, the ulcer goes deeper into the skin. Symptoms and warning signs can include:
    • Significant pain
    • Discoloration
    • Broken skin
    • An open wound
    • Blisters that ooze clear fluid or pus

    If you suspect that your loved one has a stage 2 bedsore, make a doctor’s appointment as soon as you can so the bedsore can be properly treated.

  • Stage 3. This stage of bedsore has gone below the skin’s surface and into the fat tissue, which can cause a crater-like appearance. Symptoms include:
    • Bad odor
    • Signs of infections, such as
      • Red edges
      • Pus
      • Heat
      • Drainage
      • Fever
    • The tissue in or around the skin will be black if the tissue has died.

    Stage 3 bedsores require immediate medical attention. A doctor will need to remove any dead tissue and help your loved one fight the infection. They can take one to four months to fully heal.

  • Stage 4. When a bedsore has reached this last stage, it is incredibly serious and can affect muscles and ligaments. Symptoms include:
    • A large and deep sore
    • Skin has turned black
    • Signs of infections
    • Muscle, tendons, and even bone are visible

    Stage 4 bedsores also need immediate medical attention, and can lead to surgery and life-threatening infections. Recovery time takes at least three months, and some bedsores never fully heal.

Causes of Bedsores in Nursing Home Negligence

There are strict laws and regulations that Missouri and Illinois nursing homes and their staff must follow to ensure they meet a standard of care. When they break the rules, it can lead to life-altering consequences for you and your family. The Missouri and Illinois nursing home negligence lawyers at Burger Law will hold them accountable and make them pay for the hurt they have caused.

We know that bedsores are almost always signs of nursing home negligence because they are easily avoidable if proper care is given. Stage 3 and 4 bedsores especially, because it is easy to treat stage 1 and 2 and prevent further damage.

Stage 1 bedsores develop when blood flow to the skin is restricted for two or three hours. Here are some of the cases where nursing home negligence leads to bedsores:

  • Their positions are not being changed regularly. Less mobile residents who are largely confined to beds must be moved every two hours so bedsores do not develop. Failing to do so is an example of nursing home negligence.
  • They are not given proper padding in wheelchairs. Residents confined to wheelchairs need to be given proper padding to prevent bedsores on the back of their knees or their lower backs.
  • Improper diet, nutrition, hydration. Healthy blood flow depends partly on your loved one receiving sufficient and proper nutrition. Malnutrition constitutes nursing home negligence.

  • The residents are not washed regularly. The skin being unclean can lead to bedsores. This is especially true with incontinent residents.
  • Residents are not moved properly. Improperly moving a resident can cause friction on the skin, which can lead to bedsores.

Contact a Nursing Home Negligence Lawyer Today

Treating bedsores, especially stage 3 and 4 bedsores, can lead to exorbitant medical bills that you should not have to pay, as well as pain and suffering and mental anguish for you and your family. Furthermore, you want to hold the nursing home and their staff accountable for their nursing home negligence and help ensure it does not happen to someone else’s loved one. That is why it is imperative to contact a Missouri and Illinois nursing home negligence lawyer when your loved one develops bedsores. When you hire Buger Law’s team of nursing home negligence lawyers, we immediately start fighting for justice and the dignity of your family member. Call us today at (314) 500-HURT or or contact us online for a free case evaluation.

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