It’s never an easy decision to send a parent or loved one to a nursing home. However, there can be no other choice if the individual in question requires the quality and intensity of care that cannot be provided at home. In the aftermath of such a difficult decision, nothing is more upsetting than discovering that your trust has been misplaced and that the caregiver has performed their duties in a manner that has brought pain and suffering to your loved one. Bedsores are almost always the result of substandard care.
Under Nevada law, healthcare providers, including nursing homes, are required to provide a standard level of care to their patients. They must take all reasonable steps to avoid exposing patients to unnecessary harm while under their care. If you suspect your loved one is suffering from inadequate care, contact an experienced Las Vegas bedsores attorney from Cogburn Law to help build a case with our team of Las Vegas nursing home abuse lawyers on behalf of your loved one.
What are Bedsores?
Bedsores are preventable injuries and almost always a result of inadequate care. Also known as pressure sores or pressure ulcers, bedsores are parts of the skin that have been damaged or killed due to restricted blood flow and pressure. If a patient is left immobile in the same position for too long, pressure on the skin can lead to these painful sores.
Three Causes of Bedsores
Three contributing factors of bedsores are:
Pressure– Immobility and constant pressure can limit blood flow to certain areas of the body. Without blood flow, skin cells can’t get the oxygen and nutrients they need to remain alive. Although bedsores can affect any part of the body, they tend to develop in areas where the body is particularly bony or cartilaginous, like the heels, knees, hips, buttocks, and elbows.
Friction– When fragile skin rubs against braces, clothing, or bedding, it can result in painful sores. Friction resulting in bedsores is almost always made worse if the skin or cloth being used is damp.
Shearing– Shearing occurs when two surfaces move in the opposite direction, creating tension. If the clothing or brace remains in the same place as the body moves, it can result in a tear of the already fragile skin.
How Do I Recognize the Signs of Bedsores?
Many patients are not able to recognize the pain and discomfort of bedsores themselves, so it’s very important that you understand the early signs and symptoms of bedsores for them. Bedsores are often a result of inadequate care, so at the first sign of bedsores on a loved one, it’s imperative to get in contact with a Las Vegas nursing home abuse attorney to discuss your rights to financial compensation and suit. The most common places for bedsores to develop are:
- Tailbone, or buttocks
- Spine, back, or shoulder blades
- Back of the head or neck
- Heels, ankles, or knees
Warning signs for bedsores include:
- Changes in the color or texture of the skin
- Warm or cool to the touch
At the first sign of bedsores, a patient should change their position to relieve pressure on the affected area. If the symptoms are not relieved within 24 hours, contact a doctor or medical professional for help.
Are Bedsores A Sign Of Neglect?
In itself, the fact that bedsores have developed is not sufficient to form the basis of a claim for settlement or a legal case. You will need to establish that this is the result of neglect or failure to perform duties that you can reasonably expect the caregiver to provide.
You may suspect that something is wrong, or your loved one may have complained to you that they are being ignored. You may have discovered that the facility you have chosen has a record of violations. Rather than being tormented by doubts and suspicions, arrange a consultation with a Las Vegas bedsores attorney from Cogburn Law if you suspect any of the following is happening to your loved one.
- The facility in question is understaffed
- Staff fails to regularly monitor patients
- Staff fails to help patients with repositioning
- Staff fails to maintain proper hygiene of patients
If bedsores are not treated when they first develop and they continue to be untreated or inadequately treated, they can become progressively worse. In the worst cases, this can result in damage to bone, tendons, and muscles, and these are damages from which a patient may not be able to recover.
Who is Most at Risk of Bedsores?
As you might expect, bedsores are most likely to occur in patients who are immobile or are living with irreversible spinal cord injuries. Patients in nursing home facilities are also at high risk due to their lack of mobility and a strong reliance on others. The risk factors that impact these individuals the most are:
- Poor nutrition
- Medical conditions that affect blood flow, like diabetes
- Lack of sensory perception
If a facility represents itself as a legitimate provider of elder care, you have a right to expect that they will understand the risks and take care to prevent them. If your loved one has developed bedsores due to the lack of care of a nursing home, call a Las Vegas bedsores attorney today for a free case consultation.
How do I Prevent Bedsores?
Bedsores are a preventable medical condition. A regimen of care to prevent bedsores is not complicated and with the proper attention, a patient should not develop these injuries. The earlier the bedsores are recognized, the easier they are to treat or prevent from worsening. Routine preventative measures include the following. The following routine preventative measures should be carried out for each patient at a nursing facility or any patient or person who lays immobile due to serious injury.
- Actively look for bedsores and vulnerable skin on patients
- Identify additional risk factors in patients, such as diabetes
- Provide the patient a healthy diet and adequate of hydration
- Rotate the position of the patient on a regular basis
- Recognize the early stages of bedsores and treating appropriately
- Proper cleaning of the patient, sheets, or existing bedsores
When Should I Hire a Las Vegas Bedsores Lawyer?
As bedsores can result in serious health conditions, it’s important that you seek guidance from an experienced Las Vegas bedsores attorney if you suspect the neglect of your loved one. Taking legal action can get you the financial aid you need to afford the serious medical costs and physical hardships your loved one may encounter.
The experienced Las Vegas bedsores lawyers at Cogburn Law are committed to fighting for the rights of your loved ones. Our experience in holding negligent staff and facilities accountable for their abuse of the innocent will help us to build a robust case on behalf of you and your family. If your loved one has developed bed sores while in a nursing home or other health facility, call a Las Vegas elder abuse attorney at Cogburn Law for a free case consultation.