Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect

When Are Bed Sores a Sign of Negligence?

By February 28, 2020 No Comments

photo of a woman holding hands with an old lady showing careIf your loved one visits a hospital or stays in a nursing home, the staff at these facilities have to adhere to  a certain standard of care. One of their duties involves keeping your loved one free of bed sores by properly turning, repositioning, or using other method to relieve the pressure put on the skin when sitting or lying down. . Discovering that your loved one developed bed sores during their stay at one of these facilities can be alarming. Since bed sores arise in the absence of movement, you may be wondering if your loved one is suffering from  neglect. Our Phoenix nursing home neglect attorneys discuss when neglect is likely to blame for bed sores and what you can do in this situation.

What Is a Bed Sore?

A bed sore is another word for a pressure ulcer. A pressure ulcer is the result of damage to the skin by pressure over time. When a person lies or sits still for too long, without frequent mobility, the pressure of the bed or chair they are using can cause impaired blood flow. If left unattended, this  lack of blood flow causes the surrounding tissue to die. At this point, a bed sore will arise and can be similar in appearance to a bruise. Left untreated, however, these sores can turn into large and life-threatening wounds. Bed sores usually appear where the skin is thin or where there is a prominent bone. If left unattended, the bed sore may develop a serious infection.

When Can Bed Sores Be a Sign of Neglect?

Bed sores arise when a person remains is allowed to stay in one position  for too long, allowing the pressure of the object they are resting upon to cause harm. If you have entrusted a loved one to the care of a hospital or nursing home, those caretakers have a duty to turn, reposition, or otherwise relieve the pressure on  your loved one’s skin. If they fail to do so, bed sores are a likely result. Bed sores are due to neglect when:

  • Caretakers fail to move the patient once every two hours.
  • Caretakers fail to provide cushions to relieve pressure.
  • Caretakers fail to change bed sheets and the patient’s clothes.
  • Caretakers fail to administer proper hydration and nutrition.
  • Caretakers fail to notice patient discomfort or signs of bodily irritation.
  • Caretakers fail to treat a known bed sore.

Are Bed Sores a Form of Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice refers to a healthcare facility failing to adhere to  a standard of care that results in a patient’s injury. Usually this failure occurs through negligence or error. Bed sores qualify as medical malpractice when a medical facility or its staff members:

  • Fail to properly diagnose the bed sore.
  • Administer poor follow-up or aftercare, which caused the bed sore.
  • Fail to recognize symptoms of bed sores.

When the above occurs, this negligence is a form of medical malpractice and can be the basis of a lawsuit. Pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit can secure compensation needed for your loved one. This can cover monetary damages such as medical expenses or pain and suffering caused. Successful medical malpractice cases prove:

  • There was a violation of medical standards of care.
  • This violation resulted in your loved one’s injuries.
  • These injuries caused significant damages to your loved one.

However, it is important to remember that medical malpractice is just one way to hold accountable those medical facilities and staff members that allowed a bed sore to develop. There are other ways to help your loved one secure the compensation they deserve.

Contact Our Phoenix Nursing Home Neglect Attorneys to Learn More

If your loved one developed bed sores after a stay in a hospital or nursing home, neglect may be the culprit. To learn more about pursuing a negligence lawsuit, contact our office today. Our Phoenix nursing home neglect attorneys have over 60 years of combined experience with neglect. We can assess your particular case and walk you through your legal options during a free consultation. Give us a call today at (602) 737-0342 or send us a quick message online.