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Pressure Ulcer & Bed Sore Attorneys in Nebraska

Protecting Patients from Nursing Home Neglect

As our loved ones grow older, nursing homes seem to become a more realistic factor. While we do our due diligence in order to find the best possible care for our elderly family member, there are some things of which we may be unaware. Based on various studies, up to 28% of nursing home patients may have bed sores or pressure ulcers. This is an alarming number that should be monitored closely. At Domina Law Group, our Nebraska nursing home neglect lawyers work to help victims of bed sores and their families obtain the justice they deserve.

How Bed Sores / Pressure Ulcers Occur

Nursing homes have a duty to provide adequate care for their patients. This includes those who are immobilized and must spend a majority — or all — of their time in a wheelchair or in bed. When this is the case, the nursing home staff must perform proper rotation or movement of the patient in order to prevent serious conditions from developing. When the staff fails to rotate a bed-bound patient, the results can be devastating.

The most common complication from failure to rotate is the development of pressure ulcers. Also known as bed sores, these occur when the blood flow is dramatically decreased to certain parts of the body, mainly where there is not a lot of muscle or fat. Bed sores come in four stages, each one progressively worse. If a patient is rotated properly, blood flows better and the boney areas of the body are not subjected to a high level of friction.

The parts of the body most likely to develop pressure ulcers include:

  • Tailbone
  • Hips
  • Heels
  • Back
  • Shoulders
  • Elbows
  • Back of head

Pressure ulcers can also be caused by friction or shear. This happens when the skin either moves in one direction and the bone moves in the opposite direction, or when the skin is much more fragile and the friction causes it to degrade. It is important for nursing home staff to take the necessary steps to prevent these from happening.

Is This a Serious Condition?

Bed sores are more likely to affect individuals as they get older because the skin can become more fragile and more vulnerable. This condition develops in various stages, each one resulting in worse and worse symptoms.

The stages of bed sores include:

  • Stage 1 bed sores can leave the individual itchy or experiencing slight pain in an area of red skin. This stage is still early enough to allow for treatment if pressure on the affected area is relieved.
  • Stage 2 bed sores usually mean that the skin is compromised and has either torn or appears as a blister. Prompt treatment can relieve the issue as long as the patient is in good health.
  • Stage 3 bed sores often result in very painful spots in which multiple layers of skin have been compromised and the muscle has been affected. This appears as a crater-like wound and usually means the tissue has been permanently destroyed.
  • Stage 4 bed sores are the most severe. This means the muscle, joints, tendons, and bones are destroyed and this can be fatal.

Can They Be Prevented?

With proper and prompt care, pressure ulcers are completely preventable. The person caring for the elderly individual should rotate and reposition the patient on a consistent basis in order to prevent pressure. Leg support and special mattresses can also be used to reduce the possibility of pressure or friction. The staff should also inspect the patient to monitor any occurrences of bed sore and provide prompt treatment such as cleaning the area or improving the nutritional plan.

Watch Out for Signs of Improper Care

If your loved one is in a nursing home, it is important to look out for any signs of possible neglect, such as failing to rotate a patient. When you visit your elderly loved one, be sure to ask if everything is okay or if they are in pain. Monitor their reactions and check their body to make sure there are no signs of pressure ulcers. You may notice red, blistering areas. This can signify the early stages of bed sores, and you should inform the staff before the problem becomes more pressing.

Hold Negligent Nursing Homes Accountable

When a nursing home is responsible for bed sore because they were negligent in their care, they may be held accountable for their actions. Our Nebraska bed sore attorneys work with clients in order to compile the necessary evidence and build a strong case on behalf of your injured loved one. We know how important it is to make sure the elderly receive a high-level of care and we aim to achieve your goal of protecting your loved one. Contact us today for a consultation.

Call us today at (888) 387-4134 and discuss your case with our attorneys.

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