Bed Sores Due to Abuse or Neglect in a Chicago Nursing Home
If your loved one has bed sores due to abuse or neglect in a Chicago nursing home, call Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC at 312-346-8620 or write to us online for help. Our law firm specializes in nursing home abuse cases, including bed sores cases, so you will be working with a Chicago nursing home bed sores lawyer who knows how to get results.
What are Bed Sores?
Bed sores are pressure ulcers (or pressure sores or pressure wounds) that occur when the skin and underlying tissue are injured by a lack of blood flow. Sometimes, residents, who cannot independently care for themselves, are not periodically shifted in their beds or wheelchairs, leading to the development of bed sores.
This often occurs in understaffed nursing facilities with inexperienced medical providers. These injuries are painful, infectious, and life-threatening. Caretakers are supposed to be extensively trained to prevent bed sores, especially because residents with limited mobility are helpless to prevent them.
When people who need the most medical attention are neglected by those entrusted with their health and safety, the results can be life-threatening. Our expert trial attorneys believe neglecting those who are at their most vulnerable is unacceptable. These injuries are a major indication of nursing home neglect and medical malpractice.
While we regret that your loved one was subjected to this injury, our adept legal team is ready to hold negligent parties accountable for the suffering they have caused. Contact one of our Chicago nursing home bed sores attorneys at 312-346-8620 so we can set up a consultation and begin investigating your case.
Recognizing the Early-Stage Warning Signs of Bed Sores
How a “Bed Sore Lawyer” Can Help
Finding out that your relatives have been neglected to the point where they develop bed sores can be stressful and infuriating. If it happens, your first priority should be making sure that your loved one gets the help that they need right away.
While you focus on that, the experienced attorneys at Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC will focus on representing you. We can deal with the nursing home and, if necessary, the courts to ensure you get the compensation you deserve. We can worry about the paperwork while you worry about your relatives.
Tips for Families of Nursing Home Residents
Why Should I Choose Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC?
Nursing homes are responsible for taking proper care of our elderly loved ones. The lawyers at Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC are dedicated to ensuring they live up to that responsibility, and since 1970 we have done just that.
We have won hundreds of thousands of dollars in individual nursing home abuse cases, including cases where the elderly victim suffered from serious bed sores. Our lawyers make sure that our clients get the compensation that they deserve. Our knowledge, experience, and testimonials from past clients all show that we can properly represent you and fight for the rights of your elderly loved ones.
Cases That We Handle
When a nursing home neglects one of its patients to the point that they develop bed sores, it can cause many problems. These include:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and Suffering
- Emotional Distress
The expenses caused by elder neglect can pile up quickly, and you should not have to bear the burden. You and your loved ones can be compensated for the damage that you have suffered at the hands of the nursing home.
When one sign of abuse or neglect is present in a nursing home abuse case, other forms of abuse should be investigated. Unfortunately, we see nursing home abuse cases related to many different types of abuse, including:
- emotional abuse
- financial abuse
- physical abuse
- malnutrition and dehydration
- Alzheimer’s patient mistreatment
- resident-to-resident violence
If you suspect neglect or abuse in the nursing home where your loved one lives, contact us immediately to begin an investigation.
Causes of Bed Sores
Bed sores in nursing homes usually occur on parts of the body that don’t have a lot of fat or muscle, such as hips, joints, elbows, ankles, and heels. Nursing home residents are at a much higher risk of bed sores than the regular population because they are more likely to remain sedentary for hours at a time.
Bed sores can be caused by the following:
- sustained pressure
- shear (when two surfaces move in opposite directions)
These factors are mainly caused by a lack of attention and improper medical care. The severity of bed sores is categorized into four stages, and while they are complicated to treat, they can be managed by proper medical attention, repositioning body weight, and surgery.
How Quickly Bed Sores Can Develop on a Nursing Home Patient
The Stages of Bed Sores
To help identify whether your relative or loved one is suffering from bed sores and how serious they are, a classification system has been developed. The most common system for staging bed sores classifies them based on the depth of soft tissue damage, ranging from the least to the most severe. The stages are as follows:
- Stage 1: Persistent redness of the skin
- Stage 2: Loss of partial thickness of skin appearing as an abrasion, blister, or shallow crater
- Stage 3: Loss of full thickness of skin, presenting as a deep crater
- Stage 4: (the most severe) Loss of skin thickness, exposing muscle or bone.
Guidelines for treatment included proper wound care. Those working in nursing homes or other residential care facilities should be properly trained to identify and care for pressure ulcer wounds. If these wounds are recurrent, then it is possible that proper policies are not in place, nursing home staff haven’t been properly trained, or they have been negligent in their duty of care.
A professional bed sore attorney can evaluate your case, discuss your claim, and hold negligent parties accountable for the injuries to your loved one.
Pressure Ulcers Among Nursing Home Residents Statistics
Bed sores can occur on residents in any healthcare or assisted living facility providing live-in care for the ill, injured, or disabled. However, they are alarmingly common in nursing homes and can be very costly to treat.
Other risk factors and things you should be aware of include the following:
- Age, sex, and time spent in the nursing home affected the prevalence of pressure ulcers. Race did not.
- Residents over the age of 64 were less likely to have pressure ulcers than younger residents.
- Residents who had lived in a nursing home for less than a year were more likely to have pressure ulcers than those who had lived there longer.
- Only 35 percent of nursing home residents with more than mild bed sores received special wound care.
If you are concerned that your loved one may be suffering from pressure ulcers, don’t hesitate to investigate and seek care for the wounds.
A 2010 study, Pressure Ulcers: What Clinicians Need to Know, found that in 2006, almost $11 billion was spent in the United States on hospital stays where bed sores were a primary or secondary diagnosis.
This study also reported that the cost of caring for one pressure ulcer ranges from $3,500 to over $60,000, depending on the stage of the ulcer. The study also quoted famed nurse Florence Nightingale: “If he has a bed sore, it’s generally not the fault of the disease, but of the nursing.”
The significant cost of treating bed sores and the often-preventable nature of the condition show that individuals deserve compensation for bed sores that result from nursing home negligence or abuse.
Researchers and regulators are constantly searching for ways to help prevent bed sores in nursing homes. However, until negligent care providers are held accountable, justice can’t be done for victims of nursing home abuse or neglect who suffer from bed sores.
At Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC, we hold negligent and abusive nursing homes accountable. If you believe that your loved one’s bed sores are caused by the negligent practices of the healthcare facility where they are a patient, call a professional bed sore attorney immediately to discuss your case.
Nursing Home Bed Sores FAQ
Bed sores are often the result of abuse or neglect. They can be painful, lead to infections, and even become fatal without proper medical treatment. We know you’re faced with difficult decisions and might not know how to handle this situation.
The legal team at Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC is ready to help. We want to help you prepare an effective plan and learn the necessary steps to recover the maximum financial compensation your loved one deserves. We have answered the most commonly asked questions after clients discover their family members suffered bed sores in a nursing home.
Where do bed sores usually occur?
Bed sores can form on many areas of the body. It depends on the circumstances surrounding the abuse or neglect. Many residents suffer from bed sores on their buttocks from sitting in a wheelchair unattended for too long. Other residents get them on their backs when the nurse doesn’t turn them regularly enough.
Immobile patients are susceptible to medical issues because they cannot sit up, stand, or walk independently. They require a nurse to assist them in and out of a wheelchair or turn them over in bed so they’re not in one position for too long.
Neglected nursing home residents can end up with bed sores on the following areas of their bodies:
- Heels and ankles
- Backs of the legs or arms
- Tailbone or buttocks area
- Sides and back of the head
- Lower back and hips
- Shoulders and shoulder blades
- Along the spine
What should I do if my loved one has bed sores?
Take them to a doctor immediately. Since bedsores can be a sign of abuse or neglect, you shouldn’t rely on the nursing home physician or nurse to treat them. Bring them to a medical provider you trust to ensure that appropriate care is given and prevent infections or other complications from developing.
What happens if bed sores go untreated?
Bed sores can lead to serious medical conditions without immediate and adequate medical care. Common complications can include:
- Sepsis – This infection results from bacteria entering a person’s bloodstream through an open sore. It can cause tissue damage, organ failure, and difficulty breathing. When septic shock occurs, blood clots form and prevent blood from flowing to vital organs. In severe cases, the patient could die.
- Cancer – Chronic wounds that don’t heal can facilitate the growth of cancerous cells. Squamous cell carcinoma can develop, a type of skin cancer that can lead to death.
- Cellulitis – Cellulitis is inflammation of connective tissue and skin. Common symptoms are swelling around the affected area, warmth, and redness. Serious complications can occur, such as tissue damage and tissue death. Cellulitis could lead to meningitis, an inflammation of the membranes and fluid around the brain and spinal cord.
- Bone and joint infections – An infection from a bed sore could reach the bones and joints. Also called septic arthritis, joint infections can damage tissue and cartilage. Bone infections (osteomyelitis) can result in limited limb and joint functioning.
Contact a Bed Sores Attorney from Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC
Finding out that a loved one is being abused or neglected in a nursing home is very difficult. The dedicated nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers at Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC can support and guide you through the legal process of holding careless parties accountable. This experience can take a large emotional toll, but you may be able to recover and heal without the burden of financial strain from costly medical treatment.
Don’t hesitate to contact us online or at 312-346-8620 to set up a free consultation to discuss the details of your case.