Pressure sores, also called bedsores, decubitus ulcers, or pressure ulcers, are a graphic sign of systematic poor care at medical facilities and other long-term care institutions. The development of pressure sores is becoming an epidemic among patients in Chicago nursing homes, hospitals, and assisted living facilities. In fact, studies suggest that patients in medical facilities today are more likely to develop pressure sores than they were just ten years ago! Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers has a long history of holding nursing homes and hospitals across Illinois accountable when a patient develops a pressure sore at their facility, so if your loved one has acquired a bedsore while admitted to a medical facility in Chicago, we invite you to talk to an Illinois bedsore lawyer at our firm for a free case review. You can rest assured that our lawyers will fight hard to ensure that your loved one receives the maximum compensation Illinois law affords.
Causes of Pressure Sores
Bedsores can develop on a bony part of the body that experiences unrelieved pressure over a significant period of time. When blood flow is restricted in that area, tissue dies and a wound develops. Bedsores are most commonly found on the head, heels, buttocks, and back. Poor hygiene, poor nutrition, and dehydration can also lead to skin deterioration and bedsores. It’s essential that patients with limited mobility are well attended to so they can avoid the development of bedsores.
Complications Related to Pressure Sores
When unrelieved pressure combines with other conditions, such as incontinence and malnourishment, the patient’s risk for developing pressure sores is exponentially increased. In addition to the pain and disability that accompanies the actual pressure sore, there is a substantial increase in the patient’s likelihood of serious medical complications including:
It is important that pressure sores are treated as soon as they are detected to prevent them from worsening. If allowed to progress from the early stages, pressure sores can be much more difficult to heal as they go deeper into the patient’s tissue. Of course, the best-case scenario is not to let pressure sores form in the first place.
Medical Facilities’ Duty to Protect Patients From Developing Pressure Sores
Knowing the devastation that can come about after a pressure sore develops, facilities must make prevention of pressure sores a priority and implement a pressure sore prevention program. While the needs of each patient may indeed be unique, basic pressure sore prevention methods should be followed for all.
- Move patients at regular intervals: Every two hours is considered a good practice.
- Keep patients clean and dry.
- Prevent dehydration and malnutrition.
- Use pressure-relieving devices such as specialized mattresses or cushions for patients who are at high risk.
Legal Rights for Bedsore Sufferers
The overwhelming majority of pressure sore lawsuits against medical facilities derive from the fact that the facility was simply not doing an adequate job caring for the patient. While the underlying reasons may be complex, understaffing and inadequate training of staff are recurring themes in pressure sore lawsuits.
Each Chicago bedsore lawyer from our firm has experience litigating and settling cases involving the development of pressure sores in all types of facilities, including nursing homes and hospitals, both within Illinois and throughout other jurisdictions across the country. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers can evaluate your pressure sore case and advise you of your legal rights, with an emphasis on timely and effective resolution of your case.
Over the years, the attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers have settled or brought to trial hundreds of cases on behalf of individuals and families involving bedsores. Our experience litigating and resolving Chicago bedsore lawsuits has given us a unique perspective to evaluate your specific situation. If you have questions, we encourage you to contact our team now so we can help you. Depending on the circumstances of where the bedsore formed, there are rules that require you to initiate a case within a specific time: Call us now to ensure that your rights are not compromised.