Nursing home residents rely on the home’s staff to provide for their medical needs, including care for any wounds they suffer from accidents or illness. Improper wound care is negligence, if not abuse, of the nursing home resident.
Lack of care for wounds such as bed sores, venous ulcers, or cuts suffered in falls, can lead to infection. An infection in a nursing home resident is a potentially deadly complication. Proper care includes providing medical assistance to ensure that chronic wounds, which are common in the elderly, do not get worse.
If you or a loved one has suffered because of improper wound care in a nursing home, you may be able to seek compensation for necessary medical care and for pain and suffering. Contact Becker Law Office, in Louisville, KY, for a free evaluation of your case. We represent injured nursing home and long-term care facility patients and their families.
Common Wounds Among Nursing home Residents
A wound is an injury caused by a cut, blow, or other impact, typically one in which the skin is cut or broken. Chronic diseases, like diabetes and peripheral vascular disease (venous hypertension, arterial insufficiency), can cause elderly patients’ skin to break down and become susceptible to ulcers, which are open and bleeding wounds.
Much of the focus on wounds among nursing home patients is on bed sores, also known as pressure sores, pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers. Bed sores are wounds caused by unrelieved pressure on the skin, such as from lying in bed or sitting in a wheelchair for extended periods without moving. They usually develop over areas where the bone is close to the skin, such as the elbow, heel, hip, shoulder, back, and back of the head.
Pressure ulcers are serious medical conditions and one of the important measures of the quality of clinical care in nursing homes, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says (CDC). An untreated stage III or stage IV pressure ulcer can advance through skin, muscle and other soft tissue and into bone.
Advanced bed sores should never occur after a patient has been admitted to a nursing home. Patients admitted with bed sores should receive proper care to heal or manage these wounds.
Poor circulation can lead to vascular ulcers (arterial and venous hypertension), particularly in the legs and feet. Diabetics who do not maintain proper blood-sugar levels suffer from poor circulation that often leads to the loss of toes, feet and even legs through amputation.
Surgery, including amputations and other procedures, leaves sutured or open wounds that must be cared for to ensure healing without infection.
Injuries from falls are the most common causes of preventable emergency room visits by nursing home residents, the CDC says. A fall may cause cuts and bruises, as well as hip fractures or other broken bones, or head / traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).
Call a Nursing Home Injury Attorney About Improper Wound Care
If you believe your loved one has suffered from improper wound care in a Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, or Tennessee nursing home, you should contact Becker Law Office. We can investigate and have independent medical experts assist us in determining whether your loved one’s wound care was adequate or improper. We can help nursing home residents obtain proper care when necessary and, where negligence has occurred, can seek compensation for their medical expense and their pain and suffering.
Contact the Becker Law Office for prompt assistance today. We provide an initial legal consultation for free, and all of our legal services are on a contingency-fee basis, meaning you don’t pay unless we obtain compensation for you.
Sources / More Information
- Pressure Ulcers Among Nursing Home Residents, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Potentially preventable emergency department visits by nursing home residents, CDC
- Wound care in the geriatric client, Clinical Interventions in Aging
- Never Events, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services