Louisiana Nursing Home Neglect
A pressure sore can be prevented from developing or getting worse when the staff at a nursing home performs daily skin inspections. This type of skin management requires a routine inspection according to protocol at the beginning of every nursing shift. The nurses must inspect the skin and check pressure point areas on the patient’s body where bedsores tend to occur. These areas include bony prominences where pressure is applied to the skin including:
- The tailbone, buttocks and hipbones
- Elbows, shoulders, shoulder blades and spine
- Back of the head and ears
- Knees, ankles, heels and toes
These highly susceptible pressure point spots tend to be common sites for the development of a bedsore (pressure sore; pressure ulcer; decubitus ulcer) when making contact with the bed or chair. The bedsore can develop in as little as two hours when the pressure restricts all or most oxygenated blood flow to the area. As the skin is deprived of oxygen, the tissue can begin to die or cause permanent damage.
When the nursing staff at a medical facility conducts routine skin inspections, every pressure point on the patient’s body is assessed and evaluated. The inspection reveals any redness, inflammation or fluid filled blister of a developing pressure sore in its initial stage. If the sore is treated at Stage I, the inflammation and redness can disappear within a few days.
However, if the inflammation, redness and blisters are allowed to progress into Stage II or Stage III, a shallow crater can form exposing fat deposits below in an open wound. In its most advanced stage (Stage IV), bone, muscle and tendons are often exposed in a deep crater increasing the potential of developing a serious, life-threatening infection. In many incidences, the patient will suffer death quickly from blood (sepsis) or bone (osteomyelitis) infection, especially when antibiotics are not able to overcome a compromised immune system.A Medical Facilities Duty for Proper Care
Nursing facilities and medical staff are duty bound to provide proper care to every patient to ensure any developing bedsore is not allowed to progress beyond the epidermis (top layer of skin). This is because once the pressure sore progresses into the deeper layers of skin, attending physicians often have limited options to heal the wound. Usually, debridement (cutting away dead or dying tissue) is necessary to minimize the pressure sore’s progression.
It is essential that family members ask to review their loved one’s health chart. Reviewing details in the chart can ensure that the medical staff at the facility is doing their job and performing a daily skin inspection. Well-managed nursing homes will properly document the progress of pressure ulcers during every inspection. The notes will indicate if any abnormal condition was found on the skin including inflammation, redness or blisters.Most Bed Sores Are Preventable When Facilities Look After Patient Needs
Because bedsores are preventable, any indicator of a loved one suffering a pressure sore is usually a sign of neglect by the staff. When bedsores are detected, it is essential that family members take immediate action by contacting a Louisiana pressure sore lawyer.
An experienced attorney can offer family members various legal options to stop the neglect. In addition, the lawyer can file a claim or lawsuit for financial compensation to ensure the family has adequate funds to have their loved one treated effectively by medical professionals who specialize in treating advanced pressure ulcers.
These attorneys offer their legal services in cities all across Louisiana including:
- New Orleans
- Baton Rouge
- Lake Charles
Fill out and submit the form here to contact an experienced Louisiana nursing home abuse attorney listed below who specializes in pressure sore cases. These law firms offer their services on contingency, where the costs of their legal services are paid through a jury award or out-of-court settlement in a claim or suit filed against the nursing home. They offer a free initial consultation to discuss the case and provide legal counsel on effective solutions to stop the negligence of the nursing home medical staff now.