Bed Sores: A Sign of Nursing Home Neglect?
Elder Abuse Attorneys in New York City
Bed sores - also known as pressure ulcers - are painful lesions caused by uninterrupted stress on a particular part of the body, such as the tailbone, heels, elbows, knees, ankles, hips, or shoulders. These sores often result from lying on a bed or sitting in a wheelchair for too long without changing position. The severity of bed sores can range from mild to life threatening, marked in a series of four stages:
- Stage 1: At this stage, the bed sore is not open but is marked by darkened or discolored skin that is warm and hard to the touch and does not blanch or whiten when pressure is applied. These sores may be painful or itchy. Although this is the mildest stage, caregivers should take immediate action as the ulcer will worsen quickly without attention.
- Stage 2: A second-stage bed sore is an open wound that will resemble a blister or shallow crater in the surface of the skin. At this stage, the sore will most likely be very painful and tender and may display fluid. If not caught at this stage, the ulcer will be much more difficult to treat.
- Stage 3: The bed sore will eventually worsen into a deep wound reaching past the upper layers of skin into the tissue itself and exposing fat or yellow dead tissue.
- Stage 4: If the ulcer has advanced to this stage, it will mean intense tissue loss, possibly damaging and / or exposing muscles, tendons, joints, and bone.
Because of the substantial tissue loss in the final two stages, a victim of Stage 3 or Stage 4 advanced bed sores are extremely serious, however, and can even lead to life-threatening infections in the bone or blood. Bed sores are completely preventable. A reputable care facility will never allow dangerous and painful pressure ulcers to advance.
Pressure Ulcers and Nursing Home Neglect
Advanced bed sores are almost always a sign of hospital or nursing home negligence. Care facilities are responsible to prevent and plan against sores by conducting daily skin inspections and ensuring proper bathing, exercise, nutrition, and hydration for residents. While small sores can occur without necessitating neglect or abuse as the cause, a reliable care facility will take immediate steps to relieve the victim's pain and prevent any Stage 1 sores from progressing. Special mattresses, cushions, foams, and body guards can be used to ease the affected area, while providing proper nutrition and caloric intake will go a long way toward ensuring health and sore prevention.
Call Jaroslawicz & Jaros for Legal Advocacy in Your Elder Abuse Case
Elder abuse is a serious matter. At Jaroslawicz & Jaros, our team of experienced lawyers is passionate about fighting for the families and individuals affected by nursing home negligence. If you believe that your loved one has been the victim of inattention or maltreatment at a nursing home, speak to a New York City personal injury attorney with experience in litigating elder abuse cases. Our firm offers a free case evaluation, so there is no reason to hesitate. Call Jaroslawicz & Jaros today.