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How can I recognize the signs of bedsores?

When a loved one suffers a bedsore in a nursing home, it should NEVER be trivialized or written off as “unavoidable.”  The simple truth is the most of these horrific injuries can be prevented when proper care is given, as a bedsore lawyer in New Jersey can attest. Bed sores, also known as “pressure injuries” or pressure “ulcers,” are a very serious and, unfortunately, common injury sustained by folks in nursing homes.  Sadly these injuries frequently arise because of neglect or “understaffing”.  That is, because the nursing home simply didn’t have enough workers to meet the needs of the patients.  Bed sores are, in fact, one of the leading reasons patients and family members pursue legal compensation for negligence.

Bed sores can be very painful.  If left untreated, they can worsen, become infected and may lead to death.

Bed sores develop in areas that carry the body’s weight when sitting or lying down, typically over the bony ridges of the buttocks, hips, heels, etc., and are caused by remaining in one position for too long a period of time. They are most common in people who lay in stationary positions or who have other risk factors for skin breakdown.  Preventative action, such as turning and repositioning every two (2) hours, keeping the resident clean and dry, and regular skin assessment, are crucial steps to prevent and reduce the effects of bedsores on elderly patients in a nursing home.

How Bedsores Can Be Prevented

Bed sores can be prevented by practicing the following:

  • Changing the position of the patient every 2 hours.
  • Encouraging movement to help increase the patient’s blood flow.
  • Regular skin assessment by QUALIFIED personnel to identify signs of skin breakdown early, when it is treatable and progression can be halted.
  • Practice hygienic measures on the patient.
  • Clean and wash the patient on a regular basis.
  • Immediately implementing proper treatment if signs of a developing bedsore are identified.

Warning Signs of Pressure Sores

Understanding the early signs of bed sores can help to prevent them. Some symptoms include:

  • Swelling or bruising
  • Fluctuation in temperature around the affected area
  • Changes in color around the area
  • Tenderness

If you notice any of such signs, you should speak with the director of nursing at the facility and the attending physician immediately.  It may also be a good idea to take pictures and notes. Be sure to keep watch of your loved one and look for anything else that could indicate neglect or abuse.  For further information, call to speak with a New Jersey bedsore lawyer at Davis & Brusca today.

Stages of Bedsores

Bedsores are rated or “staged” based upon the appearance and depth of the skin damage.  The stages are typically described as follows:

  • Stage 1 – This is generally an area of “non-blanchable redness” on the skin.  That is, when adding additional pressure to the reddened area with one’s finger does not cause the area beneath the finger to “blanch” white (try pressing on your hand – you’ll see what we mean).  There is no broken skin.
  • Stage 2 – Typically this refers to a blistering or small open wound.  The skin may or may not be broken, but any open wound will not be deep.
  • Stage 3 – The sore will look more like a hole as it will have opened through the skin and will involve the underlying tissue.  Muscle and/or fat cells beneath the skin may be visible, but bone will not be visible
  • Stage 4 – The most severe stage, this involves exposure of tissue, muscle, and/or bone. The risk for infection is high.

If a patient has a stage 3 or stage 4 pressure ulcer, it is VERY likely that the facility’s staff are not providing the proper treatment.  You would be well-served to speak with a top nursing home abuse attorney at Davis & Brusca if your loved one has a wound of this severity.

 Recognize Nursing Home Neglect in an Aging Adult

Trusting a New Jersey nursing home facility with the care of your loved one is an extremely tough choice. Furthermore, having your trust violated when your loved one is neglected, abused, or injured, is a devastating injustice. Many aging adults require special care and around-the-clock attention. Therefore, abuse may go unreported by victims who are unable or too intimidated to reveal the abuse. 

Neglect and abuse constitutes a deprivation of these seniors’ fundamental rights.  It often leads to severe physical, mental, emotional, or financial harm.  If this has happened to you or your family member or loved one, turn to the top bed sore lawyers at Davis & Brusca.  We can help when a nursing home violates a senior’s legal rights. To find out more and discuss your options (as either a victim of neglect or a family member of a victim), speak with one of our bedsore lawyers today.

Signs of Elder Abuse and Neglect

If you have a family member or loved one in a nursing home, you need to familiarize yourself with the signs of elder abuse and neglect.  Doing so will give you the best chance of keeping your family safe and protected.  The following list provides some of the typical signs of neglect which the bed sore lawyers at Davis & Brusca see:

  • Abrasions, cuts, welts, wounds, bruises, and scrapes 
  • Bed sores 
  • Dehydration
  • Malnutrition
  • Weight loss
  • Health problems which are not addressed by the facility
  • The senior is scared, disturbed, depressed, anxious, withdrawn, or hopeless
  • Sudden changes in eating, sleeping patterns, or other behaviors
  • Checks are written to a caregiver, institution, or financial professional frequently
  • Sudden changes are made to a will or other important financial documents
  • An unexplained transfer of assets occurs
  • Names of additional persons are added to a financial account

Suing for Nursing Home and Elder Abuse

When a nursing home or other health care facility commits abuse or neglect, both the business or corporation providing the care and the persons inflicting the abuse can be sued. An experienced and qualified NJ bed sore lawyer from Davis & Brusca will seek to prove that the health care providers violated their duties of care, and that the violations caused the harm.   When this is shown, the law provides that financial compensation for the harms and losses inflicted can be recovered.

Depending on the facts and circumstances of the case, there may be more than one avenue which can be pursued to address the neglect or abuse.  It is essential that you speak with an attorney who is familiar with the various laws and regulations governing nursing homes and claims for elder abuse.  The experienced bed sore lawyers at Davis & Brusca know the law and are sensitive to the needs of the victims of abuse and neglect.  We understand the unique urgency associated with these cases, and will work hard to protect the rights of the aging adults involved.  You can trust our lawyers to handle your claim with respect, and to aggressively pursue justice.  

How Long Do I Have to Bring an Elder Abuse or Nursing Home Case?

Claims for nursing home abuse and neglect, like all civil claims, have a deadline for filing the lawsuit.  This is also known as a “statute of limitations.”   Basically, if a lawsuit is not filed within a specific time after the abuse, harm, or injury, it may not be pursued.  These vary from state to state and are fact-sensitive, so if you believe you have a claim it is imperative that you speak with an experienced lawyer, such as Davis & Brusca, right away.

Several factors may influence how much time you have to file a legal claim.  These may include:

  • The type of injury sustained and how obvious it is
  • Whether the injured person is mentally competent
  • Where the injury or wrongful death occurred
  • Whether the abuse is committed by an individual, business, or governmental entity
  • When you realized, or should have realized, there was abuse, neglect, or injury

Contact a New Jersey Bedsore Lawyer Today

If you suspect elder abuse or negligence, the most crucial thing you can do is to notify the proper authorities and seek legal advice immediately.  Schedule a consultation to discuss your situation with a member of the team at Davis & Brusca, the bedsore lawyer NJ families recommend, to find out how our firm can help your family. 

Bedsores May Be a Sign of Neglect. Contact a Nursing Home and Bedsore Lawyer in NJ to Learn About Your Rights

If abuse or neglect is taking place, it is important you take the necessary steps to protect your loved one from further harm. Our New Jersey bedsore lawyers place great importance on the the care and well-being of the patient and their family. We’ve helped many families recover damages for bed sores and we understand how to navigate these claims with caution and diligence.

If you believe your loved one is being neglected or abused in a New Jersey nursing home facility, please call a nursing home and bedsore lawyer in NJ from Davis & Brusca, LLC for a complimentary case review.

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