Bed sores, also known as “pressure injuries” or pressure “ulcers,” are a very serious injury. They can be very painful. If left untreated, they can worsen, become infected and may lead to death. Tragically, they are quite common in nursing homes. When a person suffers a bedsore in a nursing home, the facility may trivialize the injury. They may claim the wound was “unavoidable.” However, there is international consensus that most bed sores are avoidable. The vast majority of these wounds seen by the NJ bed sore lawyers at Davis & Brusca are caused by neglect. Often the “real” reason the bed sore developed, is because the nursing home was “understaffed.” That is, because the nursing home simply didn’t have enough workers to meet the needs of the patients, neglected them, and the wounds were a direct result. For this reason, bed sores are one of the leading reasons patients and family members file lawsuits for negligence against Nursing Homes.
If you are looking for a bedsore lawyer, New Jersey trusts, call Davis & Brusca. Our team of top trial lawyers know most of these horrific injuries can be prevented when proper care is given. We have extensive experience in proving that very truth. If your loved one has suffered a bed sore in a Nursing Home, call us. We can help.
Bed sores generally form on the boney areas which carry the body’s weight when sitting or lying down. These “boney prominences” are located on the lower back (“sacrum”), the buttocks, hips, heels, elbows, etc. The root cause for most bed sores is that the patient was left sitting or lying in one position for too long. For this reason, people who are unable to move on their own due to medical conditions or physical weakness are at great risk. Preventative action, such as turning and repositioning at least every two (2) hours, keeping the resident clean and dry, and regular skin assessment, are crucial steps to prevent bedsores on elderly patients in a nursing home.
Some Warning Signs of Pressure Sores
Understanding the early signs of bed sores can help to prevent them. Some signs and symptoms include:
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.
What causes Bed Sores?
Bed sores, also known as pressure ulcers, are caused by sustained pressure or friction on the skin, which restricts blood flow to the affected area. This can occur when a person lies or sits in the same position for an extended period of time, such as in a bed or wheelchair, without shifting their weight. People with limited mobility or sensation, such as those with spinal cord injuries or advanced age, are at higher risk of developing bedsores. In a nursing home, the main causes are failures of care planning and care delivery. Specifically, failing to use the right mattress to help offload pressure. Failing to use the right support cushion when in a wheelchair. Failing to employ enough staff to check on patients frequently enough. Failing to make sure staff are properly trained to identify early signs of pressure ulcers. And failure to take basic preventative measures, such as turning and repositioning the patient.
How Bedsores Can Be Prevented?
Most Bed sores can be prevented by practicing the following:
Do Bed Sores Heal?
Yes, most bed sores can heal, but the recovery process can be slow and difficult. Further, the weaker the person’s body, the harder it is for them to heal. This is the main reason bed sores are so dangerous to nursing home residents. The extent of healing depends on several factors, including the stage and size of the bedsore, overall health of the person, and access to proper wound care. Early stage bed sores can often heal with proper wound care and turning to relieve pressure, but more advanced bed sores may require more aggressive treatment, such as antibiotics, debridement, and skin grafts. In some cases, bedsores can become chronic and lead to serious complications, such as infection and tissue death. Therefore, it is important to take steps to prevent bedsores and seek prompt treatment if they develop.
What are the 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:
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.
Can I sue for a bed sore?
Yes, in many cases, you may be able to sue for a bed sore. Viability of a lawsuit for a bed sore will turn on whether you can prove the wound was caused by negligence or substandard care. For example, if a nursing home or hospital failed to properly monitor and reposition a patient, resulting in the development of a bed sore, the facility or healthcare provider may be held liable for damages. However, each case is unique. Viability of a lawsuit depends on a number of factors, such as the cause of the bed sore, the extent of the injury, and the laws of the jurisdiction in which the case is brought. It is recommended that you speak with a personal injury attorney who has experience in medical negligence cases to discuss your options and determine if you have a viable claim. The team of top NJ Bed Sore Lawyers at Davis & Brusca concentrate their practice in this area. Call use for a free, no risk consultation.
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:
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:
If you are concerned about a loved one in a nursing home with bedsores, you should seek the help of a bedsore lawyer NJ residents trust from Davis & Brusca, LLC. Bedsores are caused by prolonged pressure from one’s body weight being applied to an area of the body. These wounds, also known as “ulcers”, can develop through pressure alone as well as from friction and shearing of the skin. What many family members may not realize is that bedsores can be one of the first signs of nursing home neglect. Residents with limited ability to move on his or her own may not be able to feel areas of pressure or adjust themselves when in an uncomfortable position. When caregivers fail to move the resident regularly, bedsores can quickly start to develop and worsen without treatment.
At Davis & Brusca, LLC, our New Jersey bedsore lawyers understand that family members may not want to believe that their loved one has been suffering from nursing home neglect. It can be devastating to find out that what you once thought was a safe and compassionate place has turned into a nightmare for your elderly relative. But don’t let denial stand in the way of action. If you even suspect that neglect or abuse might be happening, speak with a lawyer today.
The Residents Most At-Risk for Bedsores
Residents who have limited mobility or rely on caretakers for everyday living may be more at-risk for having bedsores. Caretakers must be especially attentive to these residents to reduce the chances of bedsores developing. If bedsores are observed, this is to be documented so the resident can receive proper treatment. If you feel as though your loved one is not getting the attention he or she needs, which has led to the bedsores, do not hesitate to contact us to speak with a NJ bedsore lawyer.
The First Cause: Pressure
Doctors may refer to bedsores as pressure ulcers or sores. Residents who must lay down or sit in one position for an extended duration of time, may be putting too much weight on an area of his or her body. Eventually, the skin layers may become damaged from this force, leading to painful ulcers or sores. Body parts that are more vulnerable to bedsores due to pressure can include:
The Second Cause: Shearing
Shearing happens when two different surfaces are moved in opposite directions against the other. Residents in a nursing home who are being moved or lifted into a seat/wheelchair may sustain bedsores due to friction. Shearing can impact blood vessels, preventing tissues from receiving nutrients. Caregivers must be aware of not only repositioning the resident, but being careful when moving him or her from one spot to another. Inexperienced or under-trained staff may cause a bedsore by not using proper lifting techniques.
A bedsore lawyer NJ residents rely on is likely to recommend that you follow up with a doctor about any bedsores you see, and request documentation that shows your loved one is receiving treatment. Paperwork related to the bedsores can be used as evidence if you decide to sue the facility for nursing home neglect. Please call us right away if you are worried about your senior relative. We will do what we can to help protect them from further neglect. To set up an appointment, call a bedsore lawyer in NJ from Davis & Brusca, LLC now
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.