Sadly, the development of pressure sores during an admission to a nursing home has become a way of life at some facilities. Despite their prevalence, they are simply not a consequence of ‘old age’. Rather, the majority of circumstances where a patient develops a pressure sore during a nursing home admission is a result of the facilities inattention to the individuals’ care needs.
Factors contributing to the development of pressure sores in nursing home patients
Today, we see some of the most vulnerable members of society living in shameful conditions that significantly increase their chances of developing pressure sores. Many of these poor conditions include:
- Patients left in bed or wheelchairs for extended period of time
- Chemically sedated patients
- Patients sitting in their urine and feces
- Patients not getting sufficient nutrition or hydration
This can be attributed to either just poor care or neglect, or the facility is understaffed to the point where nursing staff is unable to handle the workload. Either way, these residents deserve better treatment from those who are paid to care for them. Their have been estimates of up to 90% of nursing homes are under-staffed.
A legal duty to protect nursing home patients from developing bed sores during their admission
The prevention and treatment of pressure sores during admission to nursing homes is not just humane, it is also the law!
In 1987, Congress passed The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA) with the intention of protecting nursing home patients from inferior care and neglect. In exchange for acceptance of Medicare funding (which funds over 90% of nursing homes), facilities must implement and comply with federal regulations pertaining to the development of pressure sores at their facilities.
The regulations, commonly referred to as ‘F-Tags’ govern all aspects of nursing home care. F-Tag 314 (codified as 42 C.F.R.483.25(c)), specifically relates to pressures sores (also referred to as: bed sores, pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers):
Based on the comprehensive assessment of a resident, the facility must ensure that:
(1) A resident who enters the facility without pressure sores does not develop pressure sores unless the individual’s clinical condition demonstrates that they were unavoidable; and
(2) A resident having pressure sores receives necessary treatment and services to promote healing, prevent infection and prevent new sores from developing.
A lapse in care, a real problem for nursing home patients
Even with these clearly delineated responsibilities, nursing home patients are at risk for developing pressure sores due to facilities inadequate care. Today, many nursing homes have elected to put their corporate profits over the care of their patients. Under-staffing and inadequate training has become rampant in the industry.
Considering that most pressure sores can be prevented, it is abhorrent that so many nursing home residents suffer from this condition. According to the Center for Disease Control, more than 1 out of 10 nursing home patients have a pressure sores, an estimated 11%. The majority of these are Stage 2 pressure sores, which means the sore has generally broken the skin and has progressed from the early stages of the ulcer. 30% of the sores are a Stage 3 or higher, putting the resident at risk of other medical and health concerns.
Nursing home pressure sore lawyers in Chicago, Illinois
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers has successfully prosecuted cases involving the development of pressure sores during nursing home admissions and is well versed in using all applicable state and federal laws to prosecute our clients cases. If your loved one developed a pressure sore during an admission to a nursing home, there is a good chance the facilities negligent care may have contributed to the situation. Our Chicago bed sore attorneys are experienced in prosecuting these cases for maximum value in the most expeditious manner possible.
Resources regarding the treatment, prevention and statistics concerning bed sores in nursing homes:
Related Materials From Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers:
- Illinois Nursing Home Fails To Learn From Its Own Errors After Patients Continually Develop Pressure Sores
- What are nursing homes required to do to prevent bed sores?
- Are the development of bed sores during a nursing home admission an indication of nursing home neglect?
Information For Nursing Home Litigators:
The successful prosecution a nursing home negligence lawsuit involving a patient who developed pressure sores during an admission to a facility is dependent upon obtaining information specific to how a nursing home is operated and the policies in place to identify and treat pressure sores. Here are some discovery requests that our office has successfully used in the prosecution of bed sore lawsuits involving nursing homes.