When Bedsores Can Be a Matter of Negligence

Bedsores are becoming increasingly common, and they are often the result of elder abuse. In fact, critical data from the National Nursing Home Survey found that 11% of nursing home residents have pressure ulcers (bedsores). Most of these pressure sores occur in the first few weeks of staying at a facility. To respond to this increase, guidelines were established to ensure patients with limited mobility and dramatic weight loss do not encounter bedsores. Because bedsores can be a matter of negligence, what does a family do when their loved one experiences this? Is it elder abuse?

Bedsores Occur Due to Prolonged Period of Inactivity

A bedsore manifests on a patient’s hips, buttocks, lower back, and tailbone from constant pressure while remaining lying down or seated for an extended amount of time. Hospitals and nursing homes are required to rotate patients with limited mobility to prevent this from happening. Bedsores that can continue into the later stages lead to a myriad of health complications, including infection and sometimes death. Nursing home caregivers are required to not only reposition patients but seek medical care when bedsores begin to present. When nursing staff frequently rotate patients and keep them sanitary, bedsores should not occur.

The 4 Stages of Bedsores

Bedsores occur in four stages, including:

Stage One

Stage one is the onset of bed sores and is a warning sign the patient is not rotated frequently enough.

Stage Two

Stage two is when the skin breaks open and starts to form the ulcer.

Stage Three

At this juncture, the sore moves into the tissue just below the skin and creates a crater.

Stage Four

Now the sore is deep and reaches into muscle and bone.

Exploring Legal Options When Bedsores and Elder Abuse Occurs

The development of pressure ulcers in a nursing home, care facility, or hospital are a cause for alarm and scrutiny. The standard of care involves monitoring the health and care needs of every patient and providing the patient with necessary medical attention. When the facility fails to perform that standard of care, a negligence claim might be filed against them. Nursing home abuse and neglect are two very different types of lawsuits. Bedsores are often the result of nursing home neglect, but might also be paired with abuse.

If you suspect elder abuse or neglect, contact a personal injury attorney from Udall Shumway, PLC immediately.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding Bedsores Can Be A Matter of Negligence, or any other personal injury, please feel free to contact Brian T. Allen at  480.461.5335,  log on to udallshumway.com,  or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.