Nursing homes are meant to provide proper medical care to individuals who require a high level of care. Unfortunately, the development of bedsores continues to be a serious problem for those who live in nursing homes. These injuries are primarily caused by inadequate care or outright neglect by nursing home staff. If your loved one is suffering from complications caused by preventable bedsore obtained in a nursing home, the Brod Law firm has the experience and compassion to help.
What is a Bedsore?
A bedsore--otherwise known as a pressure ulcer--is a skin injury occurring from prolonged, sustained pressure on one part of the body. These injuries occur most often in elderly individuals who suffer from a medical condition that keeps them from being able to change positions or who must stay in the same position for a prolonged period of time, like someone who is confined to a bed or chair. Bony parts of the body (e.g., ankles, shoulder blades, and buttocks) tend to be more prone to bedsores than areas of the body that are fattier.
In nursing homes, bedsores are nearly always preventable if the proper care is administered to the patient. If an individual does not receive the proper medical care in a nursing home, a bedsore can develop very quickly and can take quite a long time to heal, if full recovery is even possible.
Pennsylvania Nursing Home Responsibilities
Caretakers in a nursing home maintain a responsibility to provide the necessary care that a patient needs. With regard to bedsores, nursing home employees have a responsibility to ensure that bedsores do not develop in patients who are immobile or are confined to a bed for an extended period of time. To ensure that patients receive the proper care, a nursing home also maintains a responsibility to provide adequate training to its staff.
One of the most critical responsibilities for a nursing home is establishing a bedsore prevention program to curb the occurrences of bedsores in patients. A proper prevention program should include:
- A skin care assessment for all new patients to pinpoint risk factors that could make an individual susceptible to bedsores;
- Creating a care plan for each patient to address what measures must be taken to prevent bedsores in the patient; and
- Implementing the care plan by having competent medical professionals treat the patient and keep abreast of any changes in the patient's skin, which could signal the development of a bedsore.
Bedsore Complications that Arise in Philadelphia Nursing Homes
For patients who suffer the development of bedsores due to nursing home neglect, the injury is more than a simple annoyance; severe complications can arise from the development of bedsores. Complications which can stem from bedsores include:
- Cellulitis, a severe infection of the skin;
- Infections of the bones and joints if the infection from a bedsore spreads further;
- Sepsis, a life-threatening condition in which the body floods the bloodstream with chemicals to fight an infection; and
- Cancer, like squamous cell carcinoma, resulting from bedsores which do not heal.
What Constitutes Nursing Home Neglect and What are the Legal Remedies in Pennsylvania?
In order to prevent the development of bedsores in nursing homes, bed-bound patients must be repositioned and turned frequently throughout the day and provided with the proper medical care. Nursing home staff who fail to provide an adequate level of care to residents can be liable for neglect. Nursing home management can also be liable to patients if they fail to employ enough qualified employees to care for their residents.
Families of a nursing home resident who develops a bedsore in a Pennsylvania nursing home may have legal recourse against the nursing home. With the help of an experienced nursing home neglect attorney, these family members can bring a civil lawsuit against the nursing home for the neglect that can provide financial compensation for the suffering that their loved one endured. A successful legal action can result in compensation--otherwise known as damages--for:
- Medical expenses incurred to treat the bedsore;
- Emotional trauma suffered by the patient, such as depression, anxiety, or inability to sleep; and
- Physical pain suffered by the patient.
Injured by Bedsores in a Philadelphia Nursing Home? We're Here to Help
If your loved one has suffered pain and complications arising from a preventable bedsore in a Pennsylvania nursing home, the legal team at the Brod Law Firm is dedicated to providing the legal representation you need to help your loved one obtain the financial compensation to which he or she is entitled. We are proud to have established a reputation of having the competence and compassion our clients deserve. To learn more about the legal options your loved one has following a bedsore in a nursing home, fill out an online contact form or call us at 1-888-435-7946 (888HELPWIN) today.