North Carolina Nursing Home Neglect
When a mobility-challenged individual does not have the capacity to turn or readjust their body without assistance, they can easily develop a decubitus ulcer within hours. Immobility is a serious problem in North Carolina nursing homes where the aging and disabled require constant monitoring to avoid developing a bedsore (decubitus ulcer; pressure ulcer; pressure sore).
Nurses and nurses’ aides at nursing homes have the responsibility to follow a routine two hour “turning” or “readjusting” schedules for all patients unable to reposition themselves on their own. This schedule is part of the patient’s health care plan to help them avoid developing a sore. Turning the patient ensures that pressure is alleviated on any part of the body that contacts a chair, bed or other body part. Performing this simple procedure every two hours or less can eliminate the possibility of acquiring a bedsore that results in damage to skin and underlying tissue.
Decubitus ulcers can form within hours when pressure restricts oxygenated blood flow to tissue and skin. These sores usually develop on bony areas of the body including the back of the head, shoulders, shoulder blades, elbows, hipbones, tailbone, buttocks, back of the legs, heels, ankles and toes.Bedsores are a Serious Medical Condition That may Result in Complications & Death
It is the duty of the nursing staff to perform regular skin assessment on every mobility-challenged patient’s body. Their assessment can help them detect any developing bedsore in its early stage before it becomes a serious condition. Usually, blisters, red spots or the redness will appear on a contact point when pressure has been applied to the area for over two hours. When discovered, the pressure sore needs to be treated according to proven protocols to ensure it completely heels. If the pressure ulcer is not treated properly or is left unattended, it can easily progress to an advanced stage.
Progressive bedsores will usually form a shallow crater at the site where fat deposits can appear. Within days, the sore can become life threatening where the crater deepens to expose the patient’s bone and muscles. At this stage, infection can become a serious problem, where the patient can die quickly without effective antibiotics to treat a bone infection (osteomyelitis) or blood infection (sepsis).
In many incidences, a facility-acquired decubitus ulcer is a major indicator of neglect at the nursing home. A pressure sore might be the result of nursing staff that lacks sufficient training to eliminate or minimize the potential of patients developing a sore. Without proper training and supervision to ensure that the nurses and nurse’s aides are providing quality medical care, the patient can easily develop a pressure sore through improper monitoring and neglect.
Many bedsores develop as a result of excessive moisture on the skin. When the patient is forced to lie in their own sweat, feces or urine, the integrity of the skin degrades and becomes highly susceptible to developing a decubitus ulcer. Alternatively, nearly every type of facility-acquired bedsore can be prevented with continuous monitoring of the patient’s needs and routine readjustments to alleviate pressure.Taking Legal Action to Stop Neglect
If you have been told by the nursing staff that decubitus ulcers naturally occur as people age, that statement is not true. Nearly every type of bedsore can be avoided or managed to ensure it does not progress to a life-threatening stage. In many incidences, the administrators of the nursing home will make this claim in the hope of shielding their corporation against litigation.
If you suspect your loved one has acquired a decubitus ulcer while a resident in a nursing home, it is essential to take legal action to stop the neglect now. You can fill in the form here to make contact with a North Carolina nursing home law firm. Hiring an attorney can ensure your loved one receives proper medical care immediately to heal from their wounds. These professionals provide services in cities all throughout North Carolina including:
Our lawyers have experience prosecuting pressure sore cases and accept cases on contingency so you will not pay upfront fees. In addition, they offer a free initial consultation to help the family seek financial compensation for the damages caused by the neglect of others.