Missouri Nursing Home Neglect
Nursing homes are given the legal responsibility to routinely rotate patients bound in wheelchairs or bedridden at a minimum rate of one time every two hours. Readjusting the patient’s body can easily prevent a developing pressure sore. However, nursing facilities often fail in this responsibility when they are understaffed or using a workforce that lacks sufficient training to properly monitor each patient and take appropriate proven steps to eliminate the potential of bedsores.
Pressure sores (bedsores; pressure ulcers; decubitus ulcers) can quickly develop when a patient remains immobile for an extended time. With the inability to readjust their body on their own, the patient often requires assistance when lying in bed or sitting in a wheelchair. The pressure against the skin at the point where the body contacts the mattress, pad or bed can restrict blood from reaching the area, depriving it of oxygen. Common areas where pressure sores occur include:
- Tailbone, buttocks and hipbones
- Back of the legs
- Ankles, heels and toes
- Shoulders, shoulder blades and spinal column
- Ears, head and neck
Patients living in nursing homes tend to be highly susceptible to acquiring a bedsore while at the facility. This is unfortunate, because nursing homes are required to follow proven protocols of turning or readjusting the body of every mobility-challenged patient. In addition, the staff is required to monitor every patient’s skin routinely to look for any early signs of a developing pressure sore. Successful bedsore-preventing protocols require the staff to check the patient’s skin at the start of every shift around-the-clock.
At the first sign of a facility-acquired bedsore, the staff is required to take appropriate action to ensure that all pressure is alleviated from the area, and that proper treatment commences. Treating the area properly in the early stage can ensure the sore does not progress to an advanced stage.
A detected pressure ulcer is categorized on its intensity, damage and appearance. The different stages include:
Stage I – Detection of a developing pressure ulcer is simple in its initial stage when blisters or red spots appear on the body, and the affected area feels softer or firmer than the surrounding skin.
Stage II – Typically, at Stage II the sore becomes an open wound forming a blister, shallow crater, or shows signs of scrapes or abrasions.
Stage III – A deepening crater appears at stage III exposing fatty deposits below the skin surface.
Stage IV – This serious final stage usually reveals extensive damage were muscle or bone is exposed at the bottom of a deep crater.
Life-threatening sepsis (blood) and/or osteomyelitis (bone) infection can occur if the pressure sore is allowed to progress to Stage III or Stage IV.Hiring a Lawyer to Investigate and Prosecute a Pressure Sore Case Involving a Missouri Nursing Home or Hospital
Your loved one should not have to suffer at the hands of an understaffed nursing facility. This is because the staff has a legal obligation to provide your loved one the best medical care possible, using recognized protocols, procedures and standards of care. When they fail in that responsibility, it is essential that you hold them accountable for their negligence and stop the careless acts that are compromising your loved one’s health.
If you notice your loved one is suffering a decubitus ulcer while residing in a nursing facility, it is best to hire a skilled Missouri pressure sore attorney to take legal action. This is because the bedsore is likely the result of negligence at the facility. Your attorney can send in a team of specialized medical professionals to the nursing home, who are dedicated to treating life-threatening bedsores. These services are provided in cities throughout Missouri including:
- Kansas City
- St. Louis
Fill in the form here to make contact with the skilled reputable Mississippi pressure sore lawyers listed below. They offer you an initial free no obligation consultation to discuss legal options at stopping the neglect now. Additionally, the lawyer can file a claim or lawsuit on your behalf to obtain financial compensation for the damages endured.