Bedsores are perhaps one of the most common forms of injury that occur in American nursing homes. Throughout southern Illinois, we find many underfunded and understaffed nursing homes that inadvertently or carelessly allow passive neglect, leading to severe wounds. These bedsores are technically called decubitus pressure ulcers, because they are caused by pressure to bony prominences like tailbones, elbows, heels, hip bones, or anywhere that bones can push against the internal tissue.
Often nursing homes are careless about handling the day-to-day care of seniors. Residents who are unable to move about on their own are supposed to be regularly repositioned by staff. This requires that the facility maintain sufficient numbers of staff in order to perform these tasks. Likewise, nutrition plays a big role in healing. So, when nursing homes cut corners, ignore patient safety, and allow residents to develop these painful, yet usually preventable, wounds, it can lead to devastating consequences. Bedsores, when left untreated, can lead to:
- Painful surgeries
- Wound debridement
- Extended wound care
- Higher medical bills and expenses
- Permanent disfigurement
- Increased risk of health complications
- Failure to thrive
Bedsores are often overlooked because they show up on hidden areas, right above bony places, like the tailbone, shoulders, elbows, heels, and even back of the neck. Pressure ulcers are “staged,” which means that a qualified registered nurse will generally measure and document the wound and attempt to determine what stage the ulcer is at. Wounds are classified as Stage 1, 2, 3, 4, or simply unstageable, which is generally the worst. Stage 1 pressure ulcers can be as simple as redness on a bony area like the sacrum. Stage 2 usually will manifest as blistering of the skin, but is usually still closed. It may be red or starting to show discoloration. By Stage 3, wounds begin to open and often have a yellowish color. This is where bedsores start becoming extremely dangerous, as they are highly susceptible to infection. Stage 4 usually will show signs of necrosis or dead tissue. Skin may look ashy at the wound edges and have black tissue. There may be drainage. Nursing homes are well-aware of the severity of these wounds, but in most cases, prevention is much easier than treatment. Once these ulcers get bad enough, it can be very hard to undo the damage.
If your loved one is developing bedsores in an Illinois nursing home, contact an aggressive nursing home abuse lawyer today. There are strict time limits on getting justice, so do not delay. For the past decade, attorney Jaye Lindsay has been helping families fight back against negligent Illinois nursing homes. We can be reached 24/7 at (618) 515-5555. The consultation is free, and we only collect a fee if we successfully obtain compensation for you and your family. But keep in mind that there are very strict deadlines. If you fail to file suit in the appropriate time, your case will be forever barred. So call today.
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