We all slow down a bit when we age or are ill. But for many nursing home residents and hospital patients, slowing down means long periods of inactivity and extended time sitting and lying down. Pressure ulcers, more commonly known as bed sores, are painful injuries that can lead to even more serious problems and even be fatal. What makes bed sores in nursing home residents and hospital patients particularly awful is that they can almost always be avoided if nursing home or hospital staff do their jobs correctly.
Sadly, tens of thousands of patients develop bed sores in nursing homes and hospitals because staff fail to monitor vulnerable residents and take the appropriate steps to keep bed sores from developing. Patients should never have to suffer pain and indignity because of neglect and incompetence by the people entrusted with their health and well-being. At The Brothers Law Firm, we stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves, holding nursing homes and hospitals responsible for their negligence and getting patients the help and compensation that can improve their daily lives.
More than 2.5 million people develop pressure ulcers annually, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Bed sores develop when an area of skin is subject to prolonged pressure. In a nursing home environment, that extended period of pressure is caused by immobility and lying in the same position for hours or days on end. The pressure ultimately cuts off the flow of blood to the skin, which in turn leads to the development of bed sores.
Bed sores may first appear as red or irritated areas of skin but can rapidly worsen into broken skin, blisters, and open, bleeding wounds. These wounds are vulnerable to potentially fatal infections. In fact, according to the federal government, 60,000 people die annually from bed sores.
Since bed sores are the direct result of immobility and lying in the same position, the preventative steps necessary to keep them from developing is simple- make sure residents move and adjust their bodies frequently and regularly. Bed sores can develop quickly, often in a matter of hours, so at-risk nursing home residents and hospital patients also need to be carefully monitored for the first signs of bed sores, which then warrant immediate treatment.
Notwithstanding the known risks and the very basic steps necessary to prevent bed sores, studies and surveys reveal that way too many nursing home residents and hospital patients suffer from these unnecessary injuries every year. One study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 159,000 U.S. nursing home residents suffered from pressure sores in a single year, while another found that 8 percent of residents develop bed sores at some point during their stay.
If you or a loved one has developed bed sores because a nursing home or hospital failed to provide the appropriate monitoring or care, it is a wrong that needs to be made right. At The Brothers Law Firm, we are committed to ensuring justice and demand respect for our seniors and their families. Our experience includes the recovery of millions of dollars from nursing homes and hospitals responsible for causing avoidable bed sores. To speak with an attorney experienced handling bed sore cases, please call us at 281-491-3635 to arrange for your free initial consultation.