Minnesota Nursing Home Neglect
Many patients in nursing homes across Minnesota are wheelchair-bound or bedridden and do not have the ability to reposition themselves or turn without help. Adjusting the body is crucial to minimize the potential of developing a bedsore, which is a serious medical condition that can progress to a deep, life-threatening wound. Unfortunately, pressure sores (bedsores; pressure ulcers; decubitus ulcers) are serious problems in nursing facilities and often the sign of neglect by the nursing staff.
Nursing facilities in Minnesota have a legal duty to provide quality healthcare services to every resident in the home. They are required to follow regulated protocols to protect the health of all patients. Bedridden and wheelchair-bound patients must be repositioned at least one time within a two-hour time frame around-the-clock to ensure pressure is alleviated on the body that could cause a bedsore to form.Pressure Sores Are a Dangerous and Preventable Medical Condition
Bedsores are actually pressure sores that occur when pressure on a body part restricts blood flow to skin and underlying tissue. The most common places on the body where pressure sore develops are areas that touch a chair or bed including:
- Ankles, heels and toes
- Tailbone and buttocks
- Legs and hipbones
- Elbows, shoulder blades and shoulders
- Back of the head
When the blood is restricted by pressure, oxygen cannot reach the skin at the specific pressure points, causing the tissue to become damaged or die. When pressure compromises the tissue, it becomes reddened, tender or blistered. When initially detected in its early stage, the sore can be reversed quickly and heal within a few days or a week.
However, in advancing stages, the condition can become significantly worse, where deep craters begin to form and bone, fat and muscle become exposed. Without antibiotics, advancing stage pressure sores can be devastating, increasing the potential of patient death.
It is not difficult to detect a developing bedsore or identify the stage of the wound. Medical professionals typically stage bedsores in four specific categories or ‘stages’ including:
Stage I – In the initial stage, the sore is not an open wound and the skin feels slightly firm or soft to the touch when compared to surrounding tissue. Alleviating the pressure from the area is usually all that is required to heal the wound at this stage.
Stage II – When the bedsore is allowed to progress to the second stage, a small crater, scrape or abrasion will likely develop. At this stage, the tissue is easily damaged and leaves a permanent scar or dies. Dead tissue requires debridement (cutting dead tissue away) to ensure successful healing.
Stage III – All pressure sores advancing to the third stage can be indicators of neglect by health professionals improperly treating the wound, or avoiding treatment altogether. At this stage, the wound is a deep crater where fatty tissue is likely exposed.
Stage IV – At the most advanced stage, the bedsore is now highly susceptible to infection of blood (sepsis) and/or bone (osteomyelitis). Typically, the permanent damage is extensive and only professionals who specialize in critical wounds should treat the shore to increase the potential of survival.
When a loved one is suffering from an advanced pressure sore, it is crucial for family members and friends to take legal action. This is because progressive bedsores are typically the result of negligence or inattentiveness at the facility. If the patient’s skin had been monitored properly and any early-stage bedsore treated properly, the wound would likely not have progressed to an advanced critical stage.
The professionals listed below assist family members wanting to stop the negligence that caused their loved one to suffer pressure sores. The law firms hold every responsible party accountable for their negligence or inattentiveness by filing a wrongful death lawsuit or nursing home injury claim. They provide their services in cities all throughout Minnesota including:
- St. Paul
Fill the contact form here to schedule a no obligation free consultation with a reputable lawyer listed below. Through legal action, a Minnesota pressure sore attorney can stop the neglect immediately.