Abuse in neglect in nursing homes and long-term care facilities can sometimes be hard to detect. Families often place their loved ones in a facility after the elder has experienced some form of cognitive decline or illness. The symptoms of aging may mirror those of nursing home abuse, and as elderly residents may suffer from communication, memory, or cognition issues, it can be difficult to determine if a loved one is being properly cared for while living in a nursing home or long-term care facility. Bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers, are one condition that is noticeable to family and may be a sign of serious abuse or neglect.
A recently published article in a legal trade publication discusses bedsores in nursing homes and the abuse or neglect that the condition may be evidence of. Initially, bedsores are a skin condition that develops in patients as a result of being left in the same position for an extended period of time. Nursing home residents who spend all day in a bed or wheelchair without changing positions may develop bedsores. Some symptoms of bedsores include tenderness, swelling, discolored skin, abnormally textured skin, and a pus-like discharge from the affected area.
If left untreated, bedsores can worsen and cause serious health problems. What starts as a condition only affecting the outer layers of skin can move deeper and deeper into the body, as far as the bones, and ultimately may cause infection and become untreatable. Infections caused by bedsores are a cause of death for many nursing home and long-term care facility residents. The risk of death notwithstanding, untreated bedsores are a source of extreme discomfort and can make your loved ones’ lives very difficult.
Are Bedsores Preventable?
With proper care, bedsores can be almost entirely prevented, and if caught and addressed early, they can be treated and eliminated. Nurses and other nursing home employees have a duty to regularly check the skin of residents for bedsores to catch issues early. Immobile residents should be turned and moved regularly and helped to sit up. Many of these bedsore prevention techniques benefit residents in other ways by allowing them human interaction and allowing nurses to get a closer look at the residents to possibly catch some unseen health problem. If nursing home facilities fail to properly care for their residents and bedsores and other health problems develop, a negligence lawsuit may be appropriate.
Legal Representation to Pursue a Nursing Home Neglect Claim
If you have a loved one who has been injured or died in a nursing home or long-term care facility, their death may be the result of actionable negligence. An experienced medical malpractice lawyer from Lebowitz & Mzhen will listen to what happened and help you decide whether to make a claim for damages. The attorneys at Lebowitz and Mzhen accept clients for most types of DC, Maryland, and Virginia negligence cases, including medical malpractice, personal injury, product liability, and car accidents. Contact our office at 800-654-1949 to schedule a no-obligation consultation with a dedicated lawyer from Lebowitz and Mzhen today.