Harm and Treatment of Bedsores
A bedsore is caused by unrelieved pressure from an individual staying in a prolonged position. It can be caused by any hard surface like a bed, or when an individual is left in a wheelchair or in a sitting position for too long. Pressure that is placed on the skin for too long will break that outer layer of the skin.
If your loved one has suffered from bedsores due to another’s negligence, it is important to consult with an attorney immediately. An experienced lawyer will be able to gather all the necessary evidence associated with the allegation, and mount a strong case to help recover potential damages.Harm of Bedsores
As a result of bedsores, a person can get serious infections. If it is a stage four injury, the infection in the bones and joints can go deep. A resident can get what is called septic arthritis that can damage the tissue and cartilage. A resident can also get sepsis, in which bacteria enters through the skin and to the blood stream and can spread throughout the body.
This can be a fatal condition and can cause that patient's organs to fail if it is not corrected. The patient can have pressure ulcers, and can develop cellulitis which is where a resident gets infections and connected soft tissues and skin. This can be very painful and can create a lot of swelling or redness. This can also lead to life-threatening complications.Treatment Options
To treat a bedsore, an individual will want a physician or a wound care specialist that knows how to deal with such injuries. They will develop a plan of care so that they can begin to manage the wounds. They will work on improving mobility, and making sure that the resident has a proper diet and nutritional needs so they are staying hydrated.
The most important thing they are going to do first is to try to reduce the pressure, so they will reposition or move the patient as often as they think necessary. They may do so every 15 minutes or reposition within the hour. If the person can do this themselves, they are going to make sure that the resident keeps moving, but they are also going to have them monitored so if the resident cannot do it themselves, then the staff will have to reposition them.Use of Support Services
An experienced physician is going to try to use support services that requires a special mattress, bed, or cushions that help the resident lay in a specific position to relieve pressure on where the source of pain may be. They will put cushions in wheelchairs and other places where the resident is likely to sit.
Sometimes, a physician will use phone cushions or water filled cushions to help relieve that pressure. They are going to want to keep any exposed pressure ulcers clean.Keeping the Injuries Clean
A physician will keep the injury clean to prevent infection, and hopefully if the skin is not broken, they will prevent it from breaking, perhaps by applying dressings to promote healing. Sometimes, a physician may perform a debridement which means they will cut away any tissue that is severely damaged or is dead tissue.
There are three or four different types of debridement to treat bedsores, and a physician will either do a surgical debridement or they can do a mechanical debridement. Further, they have an enzymatic debridement that uses chemical enzymes to get the dead tissue away, which requires antibiotics if the resident needs help with any type of infections or pain management. All of these can be very painful for the resident and might require medication.Proving Negligence in a Nursing Home Bedsores Case
The Higgins Firm will review the factors of your case to determine if negligence has occurred. In addition to this, we will try to determine what the nursing home did to reduce the risk of bedsores. Some of the steps they should have taken, include:
- Ensuring the resident's skin and clothing is kept clean and dry
- Making use of special cushions or mattresses
- Repositioning the resident (if they are immobile) at regular intervals
- Changing their bedding on a regular basis
- Checking the resident for bedsores
As a leading nursing home lawyer in Tennessee, The Higgins Firm will examine how the bedsores were treated. In the event the bedsores were neglected, and they turned into a serious bedsore that could have been prevented, a legal claim may be filed. Treatment of bedsores, include:
- Cleaning the wound on a daily basis
- Using special gauze or bandages
- Keeping pressure off of the area
- Treating any infection with antibiotics
- Removing the damaged tissues
- Ensuring the resident is given the right nutrition
If you believe the above steps were not taken, and your loved one experienced severe bedsores, usually stage 3 or 4, our lawyers would like to talk with you. In addition to pursuing compensation, we will talk to you about filing a complaint with your local Tennessee ombudsman, or the Tennessee Department of Health. A complaint will not recover damages on your behalf, but will initiate an investigation into the care center.
While authorities may be able to penalize the nursing home for their negligent actions, we can recover monetary compensation for the damages caused by bedsores. Call The Higgins Firm now.