Los Angeles Bedsores Attorney
Sometimes our aging loved ones need a little bit of help. There comes a time when moving into a nursing home makes sense. You would certainly hope that your family member gets the attention and care they deserve. You’d hope they continue to maintain an active life and engage in activities outside of their rooms.
Unfortunately, nursing home abuse and neglect are all too common. Residents, unable to move well on their own, are left in bed for hours, if not days, at a time. Many develop bedsores. These can be painful and cause infections and other health complications. This is something no one should ever have to experience.
Has someone you love gotten bedsores because they received inadequate care in a Los Angeles nursing home? Contact Glotzer & Leib, LLP to learn about your legal rights and options. Nursing homes in California have a responsibility to take care of their residents. If they don’t, they must be held fully accountable. Our nursing home abuse lawyers are prepared to help you demand the money your family deserves. Your first consultation is free, so call for help today.
What Are Bedsores?
Bedsores occur when a person lies in bed, sits in a chair, or remains in another steady position for an extended period of time. Over time, the pressure of the person’s own body reduces blood flow to the skin and tissue that’s compressed against the bed or chair. This causes injuries known as pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers.
Stages of Bedsores
Bedsores get worse over time. The longer a nursing home resident remains immobile, the more severe the bedsores will be.
Stage One: Pressure ulcers begin to develop. At this stage, they only affect the upper layer of the skin. The ulcer will begin to look and feel different from the surrounding skin. When the area is pressed, it will not get lighter in color. This indicates a lack of blood flow to the area. Residents may complain of pain, itchy skin, or a burning sensation.
Stage one pressure sores can heal in as little as one to three days with prompt medical care.
Stage Two: At this stage, ulcers affect all layers of the skin. Open wounds and blisters will begin to appear. It’s not uncommon for stage two bedsores to ooze or leak pus. Infections begin to develop at this stage.
Stage two pressure sores can heal in as little as three days or as long as three weeks.
Stage Three: Bedsores begin to affect the first layer of fatty tissue beneath the skin. The affected area may appear sunken and smell bad. At this stage, the infection has set in. The skin may look black if the tissue has died.
Stage three pressure sores require significant medical intervention and can take up to four months to heal.
Stage Four: Bedsores can begin to affect muscle and ligaments. The area will appear black and may no longer protect internal tissue, bones, and ligaments. You might be able to see those parts of the body through the sore. Many times, stage four bedsores are life-threatening and require surgery.
Stage four pressure sores may heal in a few months. However, it’s not uncommon for a full recovery to take years.
Bedsores are unacceptable. These ulcers develop when a nursing home resident remains in one position for too long. The nursing facility should be moving or repositioning residents regularly to avoid these painful injuries. Unfortunately, you can tell a lot about your loved one’s care by the stage of their bed sores.
Alarming Bed Sore Statistics
According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, bed sores affect an estimated 2.5 million people every year. Nursing home residents are particularly susceptible to these dangerous injuries. According to one CDC study:
- 11 percent of nursing home residents suffer from bedsores
- Half of all affected residents presented with stage two ulcers
- Men are more likely to develop bedsores than women
- Nursing home residents are more likely to develop ulcers during the first year of their stay at a nursing facility
- Recent weight loss can increase the risk of bedsores
- Residents who take more than eight medications are more susceptible to pressure ulcers, and
- Residents who suffer from incontinence are more likely to get bed sores.
One out of every ten nursing home residents is likely to develop bedsores. Since bedsores are an avoidable injury, this statistic is far too high. If your loved one has gotten bedsores because of nursing home neglect, you need to demand compensation. Call or Los Angeles law firm to learn more.
How Are Bed Sores Treated?
Bedsores are usually avoidable. When bedsores develop, the wounds must be treated and the circumstances that led to the injury must be addressed.
When a nursing home resident suffers from stage one bedsores, the best treatment is prevention. Nursing homes should check for infection but focus on repositioning the injured resident more frequently. Some patients may benefit from special bedding or mattresses that can reduce pressure on the body.
Treatment for stage two, stage three, and stage four bedsores can include:
- Preventative measures
- Antibiotics and prescription medication
- Cleaning and dressing ulcer wounds
- Surgery to remove dead tissue, and
- Surgery to repair damaged skin, tissue, muscle, bones, and ligaments.
All nursing home facilities should be staffed with individuals who know how to prevent, identify, and treat bedsores. However, the CDC reports that only 35 percent of residents suffering from stage two bedsores received care from specialized nursing home staff.
Damages Available to Nursing Home Residents and Their Families
Every year, 17,000 families file nursing home abuse lawsuits after their loved ones develop bedsores. Why? Because in addition to inflicting excruciating pain and causing emotional suffering, bedsores can be expensive to treat. It’s estimated that it can cost anywhere between $20,000 and $151,000 to treat one bedsore. When a nursing home resident has several bedsores, the cost of medical care and treatment can be overwhelming.
You can demand compensation from the negligent nursing facility that allowed your loved one to develop bedsores. This might include money to cover:
- Medical expenses
- The cost of a new nursing home
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Scarring, and
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
Don’t underestimate the costs of a bedsores injury. Let the experienced legal team at Glotzer & Leib, LLP help you fight for the money your family deserves.
When Do I Have to File a Bed Sore Injury Lawsuit?
The statute of limitations for bodily injury claims in California is two years. You will lose the right to obtain compensation from a negligent nursing home if you wait too long to assert your legal rights. However, you might have additional time if your loved one’s bedsores weren’t discovered right away. You can have one year from the date you learn about an injury to file your claim.
Call Our Los Angeles Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers For Help
Bedsores are inexcusable. Your loved one should never be in one position for so long that their body begins to develop painful ulcers. Don’t hesitate to contact our experienced Los Angeles personal injury attorneys for help filing a lawsuit. We’ll help you hold the negligent nursing home responsible and demand the get money your family deserves.
We offer a free consultation, so call our Los Angeles law offices for help today. We’ll review your injury case, explain your rights, and answer any questions you have.