Nursing Home Bedsore Lawyers Serving Spartanburg and Greenville, SC
Bedsores are painful injuries to the skin that are caused by remaining in one position for too long. Nursing home residents who are bedridden or continuously in wheelchairs are susceptible to bedsores if they do not receive proper attention and care. If it is not treated, a bedsore – also called a pressure sore, pressure ulcer or decubitus (lying down) ulcer – can easily become infected.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services requires that nursing homes ensure that a resident does not develop pressure sores unless the individual’s clinical condition demonstrates that they were unavoidable. If a resident enters with bedsores or develops bedsores, they are to receive treatment to promote healing and prevent infection and new sores.
In many cases, a nursing home resident who develops bedsores has been neglected by the nursing home staff.
The nursing home injury attorneys at Harrison, White, Smith & Coggins, P.C., can investigate the cause of your loved one’s bedsores that developed in a nursing home in Spartanburg, Greenville or elsewhere in Upstate South Carolina and seek to hold the facility responsible if evidence indicates its negligence. We can also help you in pursuing compensation to meet your loved one’s medical needs and assist with other losses. Contact us today to discuss your case.
The Danger of Bedsore Injuries
Bedsores occur when constant pressure to a particular point on the body reduces blood supply to the skin and underlying tissue. Tissue with too little blood flow dies and wears away. Bedsores are more likely where there is little fat or muscle between skin and bone such as at the spine, tailbone, shoulder blades, hips, heels and elbows.
A bedsore starts as a tender spot on a stationary patient’s body, but it can develop into a bleeding wound. If allowed to progress, a bedsore can becomes a highly painful injury that can easily attract infection.
Medical texts describe bedsores according to the stage of development:
- Stage I – A darkened patch of unbroken skin. It may be painful to the touch. If left untreated it will become an ulcer – a bleeding injury.
- Stage II – The outer layer of skin has worn away and the second layer is damaged. The sore may be pinkish or red and look like a shallow indentation or a blister.
- Stage III – A deep, crater-like wound exposing fat and yellowish dead tissue at its bottom. There may be additional, deeper tissue damage beyond the visible sore.
- Stage IV – A large wound with extensive loss of tissue that may expose muscle, bone or tendons. Damage usually occurs under healthy skin around a pressure ulcer.
Untreated bedsores can develop infections, including sepsis. This is a potentially deadly infection of the cardiovascular system. Squamous cell carcinoma, an aggressive form of cancer that develops from chronic wounds, can develop from untreated bedsores as well.
Through Stage II, bedsores can be treated by cleaning and dressing them and relieving pressure on the affected area. At Stage III or IV, surgery is required to remove damaged, dead or infected tissue and repair the wound. Usually, a piece of the patient’s skin or muscle is grafted in place to cover the wound and cushion underlying bone. This is known as “flap reconstruction.”
A nursing home should establish policies to prevent bedsores and ensure they are followed. Staff members who care for nonambulatory patients should be trained to understand the risk of bedsores and to recognize when sores are developing. They should be aware of which patients require assistance to move or be repositioned. They should also be trained to provide this assistance according to established schedules.
Contact an Upstate South Carolina Nursing Home Bedsore Lawyer
The nursing home injury attorneys of Harrison, White, Smith & Coggins, P.C., can investigate the treatment that has led to your loved one’s development of bedsores after admission to a nursing home in South Carolina’s Upstate region. If the evidence shows an actionable case of neglect, we won’t hesitate to pursue compensation for your loved one’s medical expenses, pain and suffering and other losses. Please contact us today for an initial consultation.
Sources / More Information
- Bedsores (pressure sores), Mayo Clinic
- Pressure Sores, MedLine Plus
- The New F-tag 314: Prevention and Management of Pressure Ulcers, American Medical Directors Association
- Never Events, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality