Bedsore Lawyer in Santa Fe, New Mexico
Bedsores are a potentially life-threatening medical condition that individuals can develop if they are bedridden, experience mobility limitations, or are confined to a wheelchair. According to the Centers for Disease Control, as many as 11% of nursing home residents will develop bedsores at some time during their stay. Nursing homes have a responsibility to understand which patients are most at risk of developing bedsores and should take measures to prevent them. Sometimes bedsore prevention is rather simple. Proper nutrition, proper hydration, and making sure that a resident changes position frequently if he or she has limited mobility can go a long way to preventing bedsores from developing in the first place.
In some cases, nursing home residents, patients, and individuals develop bedsores due to nursing home neglect or negligence. Bedsores can become infected or they can worsen to the point where the wound gets so deep that muscle and bone is exposed. If your loved one has suffered from a debilitating bedsore, you and your family may be entitled to seek compensation for your loved one’s medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages. Families may find themselves facing high medical expenses, may have to take time away from work to care for a loved one, and their loved one may suffer immense pain and mobility limitations as a result of a bedsore. The Law Office of Brian K. Branch are bedsore lawyers in Santa Fe, New Mexico who work closely with victims and their families to help them seek damages when medical professionals, nursing homes, or caretakers fail to properly prevent or treat bedsores.
Pressure Ulcer Warning Signs, Prevention, and Prognosis
According to the Mayo Clinic, pressure ulcers can develop and worsen quickly. It is important that medical personnel, nursing home staff, and caretakers be vigilant. The earliest warning signs may go undetected. For example, redness of the skin, warmth or coolness in a place where a pressure ulcer is about to develop, or soreness may not always be caught in time. Patients with limited sensation may not always feel that a pressure ulcer is developing. There are four stages in the development of a pressure ulcer. According to the CDC, most pressure ulcers are diagnosed in stage 2. What are the four stages?
- Stage 1: According to Hopkins Medicine, stage one pressure ulcer development is characterized by redness. Swelling, soreness, and coolness or warmth of the skin may also indicate that a pressure ulcer is about to develop.
- Stage 2: In stage two, a sore may appear on the skin, with a shallow wound present. Doctors or nursing home staff may notice an open blister or wound.
- Stage 3: In stage three, the wound deepens to the extent that the thickness of the skin is lost. Doctors may see fat exposed.
- Stage 4: In stage 4, the wound has become so deep that muscle and bone are exposed.
In stage 2, stage 3, and stage 4, the patient is at risk of developing an infection. In order to prevent the worsening of a pressure ulcer or the development of an infection, nursing home staff need to treat pressure ulcers promptly. How should pressure ulcers be treated?
- Nursing homes and doctors should take the time to understand the underlying cause of the pressure ulcer. Was the patient moved frequently enough? Is the patient getting enough to eat and drink?
- Nursing home staff and doctors should check for infection and treat for infection. Sometimes preventative measures against infection should be taken.
- Nursing home staff and doctors should properly clean and dress all wounds.
- Patients should be provided with pain medication.
Families can play a role as advocates for their loved ones. Nursing home staff and caretakers may not always inform families that their loved one has developed a pressure ulcer. Sometimes the development of a pressure ulcer is the result of nursing home neglect, malnutrition, and failure to keep a resident properly hydrated. If your loved one is suffering from pressure ulcers, it is important to take the time to understand the care your loved one is receiving. If you believe that your loved one’s pressure ulcers developed as a result of nursing home neglect, misdiagnosis, or lack of proper care, consider reaching out to The Law Office of Brian K. Branch, pressure ulcer lawyers in Santa Fe, New Mexico who pursue negligence cases against nursing homes, doctors, and caretakers when they fail to properly care for the people in their charge.
Does Your Loved One Have a Decubitus Ulcer in Santa Fe, New Mexico?
If your loved one has a decubitus ulcer in Santa Fe, New Mexico, it could be indicative of nursing home neglect or negligence. Individuals who have mobility limitations or those who are bedridden need specialized care in order to prevent the development of decubitus ulcers. For example, bedridden individuals may need to be moved every two hours. Individuals in wheelchairs may need to be shifted every hour, or more frequently. Individuals in nursing homes who have mobility limitations may also need added attention when it comes to nutrition and hydration. Nursing home staff should keep careful records of patients’ eating and drinking habits. Any gap in care can result in the development of a decubitus ulcer. While a nursing home may try to play this down, saying it is “just a bedsore,” it is important to understand that a decubitus ulcer can worsen quickly, and can be life-threatening if left untreated. Alarmingly, this condition can also be painful and reduce a person’s quality of life. According to Hopkins Medicine, decubitus ulcers are associated with higher morbidity rates. 70% of patients die within 6 months of developing the condition.
If your loved one has developed a decubitus ulcer, time is of the essence. The Law Office of Brian K. Branch are decubitus ulcer lawyers in Santa Fe, New Mexico who work closely with families to help them seek medical care and financial recovery on behalf of their loved ones. You may only have a limited amount of time to make a claim under the law. Visit The Law Office of Brian K. Branch today to learn more about your options.