Lexington Bedsore Injury Lawyer
Bedsores, sometimes referred to as pressure sores, are injuries to the skin and the underlying tissue. They are the result of prolonged pressure on the skin. Typically, they develop on bony areas of the body like the ankles, heels, tailbone, and hips.
Pressure sores can develop quickly and be difficult to treat. Depending on the severity, some bed sores never heal completely. If you have a loved one who has suffered from serious pressure sore injuries, the Lexington bedsore injury lawyers from the Law Office of Todd W. Burris may be able to help.
The Four Stages of Bedsore Injuries
Pressure sores can become severe due to the fact that they develop in four stages. It’s much easier to treat the affected area during the earlier stages. The later stages have the potential to lead to life-threatening medical conditions.
The four stages are as follows:
- Stage 1. At this point, the sore is not an open wound. The skin, however, is red and does not blanch. This means if you press on the skin and remove your finger it will not change color. The person may experience pain. Additionally, the skin will feel either firmer or softer than the surrounding, unaffected skin.
- Stage 2. During stage two, the skin breaks open, wears away, or forms an ulcer. As the pressure sore expands into the deeper layers of the skin, it will be tender and painful. Sometimes, the affected area looks like a blister filled with clear fluid. If the wound progresses, some of the skin may be damaged beyond repair or die.
- Stage 3. As the bedsore gets worse in stage three, it extends into the tissue beneath the skin. A crater is likely to form. Additionally, fat may be visible from the sore.
- Stage 4. The person may not experience any pain at this point because of the significant damage to the tissue. The bedsore is deep and reaches into the muscle and bone. Damage to deeper tissues, joints, and tendons can also occur.
Bedsores are completely preventable in most cases. Sores that are less severe, in the earlier stages, also heal easier. When bed sores aren’t properly treated, they can worsen and advance to the more serious stages. If your loved one’s bedsores are severe and were not properly treated, it may be possible to prove that negligence occurred which caused your loved one to suffer. With the help of our injury lawyers, you may able to obtain compensation that can aid your loved one’s recover and ensure they receive the care they need in a better facility.
How Do Bedsores Develop in Nursing Homes?
If you have a loved one in a nursing home, it’s possible they’re not moved as often as they should be. If they are incapable of moving on their own, it’s crucial for staff members to ensure they regularly move and reposition themselves to prevent bed sores from developing. Common factors that contribute to bedsores include pressure, shearing, and friction.
Pressure, the most common cause of bed sores, occurs when a resident’s blood flow is lessened because of prolonged force. Tissues and vital organs need blood flow to receive oxygen and nutrients. When nursing home employees neglect to monitor and move their patients, the person’s arms, feet, and other body parts sustain pressure throughout the day. This can easily trigger a bed sore, especially because elderly people tend to have thinner skin.
Shearing occurs when two things move in opposite directions. Over time, the force puts stress on the body. Because skin cannot endure that kind of trauma for extended periods of time, bedsores can form. If, for example, a person is kept in a wheelchair for many hours at a time, they may move back and forth, and shearing is possible.
Friction, the final motion that can result in bed sores, happens when an object repeatedly rubs against a person. In a nursing home setting, a resident may come into contact with medical devices, liners, or rough clothing. Friction is also an issue for residents who suffer from incontinence. Friction can worsen significantly when moisture is present.
If you believe your loved one’s bedsore should have been prevented, our Lexington bedsore injury lawyers will look into what happened and work to hold the negligent person or facility accountable.
Pressure Sore Complications
When a resident goes unmoved for extended periods of time as a result of neglect, they may be suffering from additional conditions. Dehydration and malnutrition can lead to worsening pressure sores. Additionally, the resident may experience significant pain if they have other diagnosed conditions or disabilities. When other medical conditions are present in addition to bed sores, the following complications are possible:
- Infection, especially in the bones and joints
Filing a Nursing Home Bedsore Claim in Lexington
If your loved one developed bed sores in their nursing home, you have legal rights and options. When you file a nursing home abuse claim on their behalf, you’ll be working toward receiving the compensation they need to recover. You’ll also be sending the nursing home a message that their residents deserve better care. To learn more about the litigation process, contact our firm today. Our Lexington bedsore injury lawyer will review your claim and help you determine how best to proceed.