Massachusetts Nursing Home Neglect
Pressure sores are a serious problem in nursing homes and assisted living facilities throughout Massachusetts. A bedsore (decubitus ulcer; pressure ulcer; pressure sore) often develops as an open wound when an individual remains in one position for an extended period. It often occurs when a patient is not turned or repositioned in bed frequently or allowed to remain in a single position when seated in a chair or wheelchair for too long.
Nearly every type of early-stage pressure sore can heal completely when treated properly when detected. However, when left untreated, pressure ulcers can quickly become infected causing a serious, life-threatening illness. Pressure sores can occur even in well-managed nursing homes, where the staff has been properly trained in bedsore prevention. However, when the medical staff does not follow routine turning protocol every day, a sore can begin develop if the patient’s needs are neglected for just a few hours or less.
Bedsores develop from pressure applied on the skin, typically when the weight of the patient’s body pushes or rests against cushions, padding and bedding materials. A limb resting on another limb for too long can also cause a pressure sore to develop. The most highly susceptible patients to bedsore development are usually bedridden or bound to a wheelchair, and those suffering from some debilitating condition including quadriplegia, paraplegia or coma.
To ensure the quality of life for every patient, nursing home facilities are required to follow medical regulations and provide adequate standards of care at all times. This includes making sure every patient receives daily nutritional meals and adequate hydration. The facility must also enforce strict “readjusting” protocols to ensure that every mobility-challenged patient is turned a minimum of one time within a two-hour timeframe.
When a bedsore is first detected on the patient, it is usually at a Stage I or Stage II level, where red spots, fluid filled blisters or a small open wound crater appears. When in the early stages, the condition can usually be reversed easily, when proper healing methods are used. Some of these methods include:
- Keeping the area dry and clean
- Debridement techniques to cut away dead tissue
- Using pressure relieving cushions and mattresses
- Proper wound dressing
However, when the pressure sore is allowed to progress to advancing stages (Stage III & IV) the health of the patient is greatly compromised. Statistics indicate that less than 50 percent of all Stage III pressure sores heal completely, and less than 30 percent of all Stage IV bedsores are resolved.
If the wound progresses to advancing stages, the pressure sore develops an open crater, which often exposes underlying bone and muscle. In many cases, the patient suffers serious bone (osteomyelitis) and blood (sepsis) infections, which are extremely painful and challenging to treat. If the infection cannot be controlled using antibiotics, the risk of the patient dying from the condition is increased.Stopping Nursing Home Neglect with the Help of Mass Bed Sore Lawyers
Whenever family members discover their loved one is suffering a bedsore at a skilled nursing facility, they often take steps to contact the nursing management, nursing staff and caregivers for immediate assistance. However, some administrators in nursing facilities will attempt to divert legal liability by transferring the patient to another nursing home, sending the patient home, or to a hospital.
In most cases, legal means are often the only viable ways to ensure the patient is receiving proper medical care to treat an advancing pressure sore as soon as possible. A reputable Massachusetts pressure sore attorney can take immediate steps to inform regulatory authorities of the neglect, file a lawsuit, and send an intervention medical team specialized in treating advanced pressure ulcers to the patient’s bed in the nursing facility.
These professionals offer services in communities all throughout Massachusetts including:
By filling out and submitting the contact form here you can contact a nursing home abuse lawyer to schedule a no obligation initial consultation. The attorneys work on contingency, meaning the law firm advances payment for their legal services, which will be paid from an out-of-court settlement or an award at trial.