Bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers, can be painful and debilitating. Understanding what they are, what causes them, and who is most susceptible is crucial for preventing these injuries, especially in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. The Atlanta personal injury lawyers at Julie A. Rice, Attorney at Law, & Affiliates understand the pain and suffering that bedsores can cause to those who are most vulnerable and the complexities involved in pursuing compensation for bedsores caused by negligence in nursing homes and assisted living settings.
What is a Bedsore?
A bedsore is a skin injury that occurs when pressure, friction, or shear stress is applied to the skin and underlying tissue for an extended period. They often develop in individuals who are bedridden or have limited mobility. These wounds can range from mild redness to severe tissue damage, sometimes extending to the bone. Understanding the underlying causes is essential to prevent and address bedsores effectively.
What Causes Bed Sores?
The Mayo Clinic identifies three primary causes of bedsores:
- Pressure: Prolonged pressure on specific areas of the body, like the hips, tailbone, or heels, can impede blood flow, leading to tissue damage.
- Friction: Rubbing or dragging the skin against surfaces, such as when a patient is moved or repositioned, can cause skin breakdown.
- Shear: Shear occurs when the skin’s surface moves in the opposite direction to the underlying bone. This can happen when the head of the bed is raised, causing the body to slide down.
Hospitals and care facilities that are understaffed and under-trained are also significant contributors to residents developing bedsores.
Who is Most Susceptible to Developing Bedsores?
Certain individuals are more susceptible to developing bedsores, including:
- Persons with Mobility Problems: Those who cannot change positions frequently are at a higher risk of developing bedsores. This includes individuals with paralysis or those recovering from surgery.
- People with Certain Diseases: Conditions that affect blood flow, like diabetes or vascular disease, can increase the risk of bedsores.
- The Elderly: Aging skin is often thinner and more fragile, making the elderly more susceptible to pressure ulcers.
- People with Poor Nutrition or eating disorders: A balanced diet is essential for healthy skin. Malnutrition or eating disorders can weaken the skin’s integrity.
Liability for Bedsores in Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities
In nursing homes and assisted living facilities, the responsibility for preventing bedsores falls on the staff and management. Federal Nursing Home Regulation §483.25(c) regarding pressure sores states that facilities must provide “necessary treatment and services to promote healing, prevent infection, and prevent new sores from developing.”
If a facility fails to meet these standards, it may be held liable for neglect. Families and victims of bedsores due to neglect have the right to pursue legal action to seek compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and other damages.
How an Experienced Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help
Navigating a personal injury case involving bedsores can be complex. An experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyer, like those at Julie A. Rice, Attorney at Law, & Affiliates, can provide invaluable assistance. They will investigate the circumstances surrounding the development of bedsores, gather evidence, and build a compelling case to hold the negligent party accountable.
Contact Julie A. Rice, Attorney at Law, & Affiliates for a Free Consultation
If you or a loved one has suffered from bedsores due to negligence in a nursing home or assisted living facility, do not hesitate to seek legal help. At Julie A. Rice, Attorney at Law, & Affiliates, we offer free consultations to assess your case. Our experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyers are dedicated to fighting for justice and fair compensation for those who have been harmed. Contact us today at 770-865-8654 or reach us online to discuss your situation and explore your legal options. Your well-being is our priority.