Articles Posted in Bed Sore Injury (Pressure Sores)

Analyzing A Nursing Homes For Preventing Pressure SoresPressure sores are an ailment that can almost always be prevented through proper care, yet they are often disregarded as inevitable in elderly, reduced mobility patients. There are many situations that lead to these painful and dangerous sores that nursing homes can avoid and prevent. If you are admitting a loved one to a nursing home, especially one who cannot move or walk easily, find out how the facility plans to prevent pressure sores right from the beginning at the admission process.

Pressure sores are a breakdown of the skin and tissue on areas of the body that come in contact with support surfaces. Most commonly, these will be on the backside of an individual, such as the buttocks, shoulder blades, hip, and head. These sores start as a reddish or purplish area that looks like a bruise and can progress into deep, painful wounds that can become seriously infected.

Questions To Ask At Admission

Common Defense used by medical facilitiesMost of the time, cases involving pressure sores on patients are caused due to the neglect and ignorance of the medical requirements of the patient. However, medical facilities such as nursing homes and hospitals would want to resolve the issue as fast as possible. Most of the cases of pressure sores require broad lawsuit and trial work. Pressure sores are also known by many other names such as pressure ulcers, bedsores and decubitus ulcers.

However, the fact is that most of these cases are resolved out of the court before they reach trial. It is the lawyers of the medical facility that come into the picture and try to resolve the case out of court. Most of the time, the defenses would try to shift the entire responsibility for the development of the pressure sores on the patient.

The most commonly used defense explanations used by medical facilities include the following.

Reasons for Higher Chance of Pressure Ulcers in Patients Recovering from Hip FractureYou would be amazed to know that around 45% of the patients who are recovering from some type of hip fracture are going to develop one or another type of pressure ulcers while recovering. These ulcers are also known by other terms such as bedsores, decubitus ulcers or pressure sores.

The hips are the main area where such patients are most likely to develop these pressure ulcers, followed by the heels. It would mostly the non-operated side of the hips that are vulnerable to these ulcers. Many explanations have been created to answer why patients suffering from hip fractures are most likely to develop pressure ulcers. However, studies have regularly shown that immobility and ignorance towards preventative steps from the side of the medical facility staff are the main reasons for causing pressure sores.

Pressure ulcers can develop on the heels of patients suffering from hip fractures because of the reduction in circulation in their legs after a fracture and the consequent surgery. In addition, a lot of patients who are recovering from hip fracture surgery could be given pain relief medications. These medications can limit or almost eliminate their movement towards pressure by hampering perception of pressure buildup.

Classifying the Type of Facility where the Bed Sore was FormedWhen it comes to assessing a case that involves the development of bed sores, it is first required to find out the kind of facility where the pressure sore was formed. In addition to finding the type of facility against which a lawsuit or a claim is to be made, it is also important to know the legal category of the facility so as to make a successful recovery.

Legal Categorization of the Facility Responsible

It is important to legally classify the facility whether it is a group home, a nursing home, a residential care facility for the elderly (RCFE), a hospital or an assisted living facility. This would help in deciding the laws that would be applicable in your case.

elderly man in nursing homeBed sores. Pressure sores. Pressure ulcers. It does not matter what you call them, they are a horrid ailment and can be deadly to the patients who are inflicted with them. They are not only painful but can lead to infections that spread throughout the body if not treated and healed. Once these sores start, they can be difficult to get under control. Nursing home caregivers need to follow prevention steps to make sure they do not begin in the first place.

  1. Check areas prone to pressure sores. Certain areas of the body are more likely to develop pressure sores. Areas that have high contact with surfaces are more susceptible to getting these sores. The tailbone, hips, buttocks, heels and bony areas on the feet are areas that need to be watched. Caregivers should be checking these areas twice daily.
  1. Use special padding. Beds and chairs need to have extra padding that supports the body and protects it from excess pressure on prone areas. There are special mattresses, high-density foam and other devices that can be used to give extra support in the sitting and lying positions. Caregivers should make sure that their patients have these on all chairs that they will sit in for any amount of time as well as their beds.

Bed sores in nursing homes are painful, unsightly and preventable – all good reasons for a facility to be vigilant in their prevention. The risks associated with pressure sores make them worse than just an uncomfortable surface injury — especially with the compromised immune system of many nursing home residents.

Cellulitis

Often the first observable symptom of a bedsore problem, this infection of the skin causes pain and swelling at the site of infection. Left untreated, it can lead to serious and fatal complications – including sepsis, gangrene and meningitis.

Pressure Sore Pain Remains Difficult to Measure [Photo Caption: An example of a “Visual Analog Scale” – one of several methods doctors use to assess pain. (Photo courtesy of Medscape.com)] As an experienced pressure sore lawyer, I still find it hard to imagine the reality of living with an open bed sore. Aside from the sheer physical pain – which is unrelenting, and affects sufferers 24/7, there’s the emotional trauma of being bed-bound and totally dependent on others.

While it’s well-known that bed sores happen in stages, what’s less quantifiable is how people feel as pressure sores advance. As a recent article in MedScape.com points out, eliciting pain measurement from elderly patients still remains a challenge.

Pain associated with pressure sores

A hospital in Armidale, Australia says it might have a way to stop Stage 1- and 2 bed sores from ever happening.

Proper Dressings Could Help Prevent Bed SoresBed sores, or pressure ulcers, often occur within hours of a hospitalization. Elderly patients are especially susceptible to developing pressure sores, due to their thin skin.  But the Armidale Rural Referral Hospital says it’s found a way to halt bed sores – at least for elderly patients with hip fractures.

Extra cushioning on heels and buttocks

Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC has settled a bed sore case with a Chicago nursing home on behalf of a deceased patient’s family.  The nursing home patient died after developing a stage 4 bed sore and sepsis. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC quickly collected all of the patient’s medical records from the nursing home and hospital where he received treatment.

The case was then reviewed by an expert in the field of nursing and wound care and a fact chronology and accompanying report was prepared and submitted to the insurance company.  In this case, the nursing home failed to provide necessary bed sore precautions such as: regularly repositioning the man or keeping him clean.  Moreover, after the wound first began to appear the nursing home failed to modify his ‘care plan’ or notify his physician of his change in medical condition.

Within six months of the man’s death, we were able settle this claim for $450,000.