West Palm Beach Bedsores Lawyer
West Palm Beach Bedsore Attorneys
Patients in hospitals, nursing homes and long-term care facilities should be treated with dignity and care. They often suffer from very limited mobility, which forces them to spend long periods in the same position, often sitting in a wheelchair or lying on a bed. Over time, this creates sores. Bedsores are lesions, or ulcers as the medical community describes them, and they can be very dangerous, particularly for elderly patients.
What’s a Bedsore?
A bedsore is essentially a pressure sore. They form on parts of the body where there is contact with the underlying surface. For instance, the backs of the thighs, hips, back and shoulders can be problem areas. They’re common in places where bony parts of the body are in contact with the bed or wheelchair. The pressure of the bone pressing down on the skin, which is caught between the surface of the bone and the surface of the bed or chair, cuts off the flow of blood and oxygen to the area. Tissue death results, and a lesion or ulcer forms.
Bedsores are often seen in patients suffering from poor nutrition and circulation, as well as those suffering from paralysis or dementia. Even patients in long-term surgical recovery or those who are required to spend long periods in a wheelchair can suffer from these lesions.
The Threat of Bedsores
Bedsores are dangerous. They can easily become infected, and that infection can spread very quickly to other parts of the body or even enter the bloodstream. In time, they can deepen to the point that the bone can be seen. These can be lethal.
Proper Treatment for Bedsores
Bedsores can be easily prevented with the right care, which makes their prevalence such a devastating thing. In fact, there are existing federal regulations that mandate bedsores be prevented, treated and cared for by hospital staff, nursing home staff and workers in long-term care facilities. Individuals at risk for developing bedsores must be identified and an effective prevention plan put in place. Monitoring of these patients is also essential. They should be frequently examined, turned and cleaned to help prevent bedsore formation.
There are four stages of bedsores, ranging in severity from 1 on the low end to 4 on the extreme end. Stages 1 and 2 can generally be healed with conservative treatment, including frequently turning the patient, cleaning the area and other conventional treatments that may include the use of topical medications and bandages. Stage 3 bedsores generally need more serious treatments, including debridement to remove dead and infected material. Stage 4 bedsores must be treated with surgery, using skin grafts to replace the necrotic tissue. Recovery from more invasive treatments is long, arduous and complicated.
In the end, bedsores can be prevented with active care, the right staffing and the right methods. However, too many hospitals, nursing homes and long-term care facilities are understaffed, or fail to realize the importance of prevention and correct treatment before the sores escalate to a serious point. If you or a loved one has suffered from bedsores, you may need to speak with bedsore lawyer to determine if you have a negligence case.
Bedsores can be a sign of a deeper problem as well. For instance, they can indicate that the patient is suffering from more than a lack of attentive medical care – it may indicate severe, prolonged dehydration, malnutrition and more.
At the law offices of Casey D. Shomo, our bedsore lawyers have the experience and expertise necessary to consult on your case. Whether you have suffered from bedsores or you suspect a loved one is not being cared for properly, we can help.