Nursing Home and Hospital Bed Sore Injury Attorney in Chicago, IL
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Nursing Home and Hospital Bed Sore Injury Overview
Nursing Home and Hospital Bed Sore Injury
Inadequate medical care at nursing homes and other long-term care facilities can lead to serious and painful bed sores. These tissue injuries — also referred to as pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers— are subject to infection. If left untreated, bed sores may result in Sepsis, which is a deadly medical condition characterized by the overwhelming presence of bacteria in the blood.
For more than 20 years, the Law Office of Joseph M. Dooley in Chicago, Illinois, has provided experienced and compassionate nursing home abuse and neglect representation. As a solo-practitioner, Attorney Dooley works with nursing home and hospital bed sore injury victims at every step, helping clients receive the compensation they deserve.
Causes of Bed Sores
Nursing home and hospital bed sore injuries are dangerous sores of the skin and underlying tissues. They most often result from continuous pressure on specific parts of the body, thus reducing the blood flow to those areas and causing the tissue to die. In these cases, the most common locations for bed sores are places where skin covers prominent bony areas, such as the tailbone, heel, hip, shoulder blade and elbow.
Friction is a less common, but just as serious cause for bed sores, or pressure ulcers. Nurses and staff members are required to systematically move immobile patients to reduce pressure points. However, moving someone incorrectly can cause the skin to rub against clothing or bed linens. This rubbing can wear away at fragile skin, making it thin and more susceptible to damage and the development of sores.
Classification of Bed Sores
Bed sores range in severity from skin irritation to a complete loss of skin and underlying tissues. The classifications are as follows:
- Stage I: Skin is intact, but may be red and is clearly irritated. The site of the sore is painful to the touch and is generally a different temperature than the surrounding healthy tissue.
- Stage II: Abrasions and blisters appear causing skin loss of the outer layer. At this stage, the pressure sore appears more as a wound, rather than skin irritation.
- Stage III: Skin and outer tissue is worn away, causing a crater-like wound. Death to the underlying tissues ensues.
- Stage IV: This is the most serious stage of bed sores. The skin and tissues have completely died and worn away, exposing muscle and bone tissue. The wound is dark and infected.
Prevention of Bed Sores
Individuals with severe diabetes and patients who are immobile are especially subject to bed sores due to their inability to shift positions in bed and walk around on their own. Additionally, people suffering from poor nutrition, dehydration or peripheral vascular disease are at risk because of the lack of fat surrounding their bones and tissues, as well as an already weakened cellular structure. Age can also play a factor because skin and tissue cells regenerate more slowly.
Nursing homes and hospitals are expected to identify people at risk for developing bed sores and implement care procedures to prevent them from occurring. Simple procedures that can prevent a bed sore injury and any life-threatening infections that may result include:
- Systematically changing someone’s position and monitoring an individual for signs of bed sores
- Washing and bathing an individual
- Making sure an individual is well-nourished and hydrated
- Equipping an individual with heel supports, boots, special mattress and other medical devices designed to protect someone from developing a bed sore injury
Failure to train nurses and staff on recognizing the risks for nursing home and hospital bed sore injuries, and the failure to implement prevention tactics are causes for concern. If your loved one suffered painful sores due to inadequate medical care, you have valid reason to pursue a nursing home negligence lawsuit.
Contact a Nursing Home and Hospital Neglect Lawyer With Decades of Experience
If you are interested in learning more about pursuing justice when inadequate medical care or nursing home neglect or abuse has led to painful bed sores, contact personal injury attorney Joseph Dooley. Call The Law Office of Joseph M. Dooley, in Chicago, Illinois, at 312-445-9134 for a free initial consultation.
Areas of Practice
- Nursing Home and Hospital Bed Sore Injury
- Nursing Home
- Medical Malpractice
- Personal Injury -- Plaintiff