North Dakota Nursing Home Neglect
Even though bedsores are an ongoing problem in nursing homes, when the staff follows proven protocols, most sores can be prevented or heal completely in their early stage. In fact, a facility-acquired bedsore (pressure sore; pressure ulcer; decubitus ulcer) is usually a sign of neglect by the medical staff charged with the responsibility of providing each patient quality health care. Many families with loved ones who have developed a pressure sore in the nursing home will hire a North Dakota decubitus ulcer attorney to stop the negligence.
The demographics of North Dakota are changing with significantly more individuals reaching retirement age than ever before. This increase in the state’s aging population has put a significant demand on the need for more nursing home beds. As a result, nursing facility administrators are often challenged to find enough competent nurses and nurse’s aides trained to treat the elderly. Because of that, patients suffer from the lack of a trained workforce skilled in providing high quality care.
Nearly every nursing home patient lacks the capacity to perform daily activities on their own because they are recovering from surgery, are old or suffering severe medical problems. Many residents are challenged with mobility and unable to reposition their body or shift their weight without assistance, while lying in bed or sitting in a wheelchair or chair. The medical staff is given the duty to ensure all mobility-challenged patients receive special care through:
- Constant monitoring
- Properly prescribed medications
- Good nutrition and constant hydration
- Routine “turning” of their body every two hours or less
Bedsores develop because the flow of blood is restricted to a specific body part, most commonly on bony areas like the back of the head, neck, shoulders, spine, hipbones, tailbone, elbows, ankles, toes and heels. The body’s pressure that touches a mattress, pad or chair can deprive the area of oxygen and nutrients unless it is alleviated in less than two hours. This is because with continuous pressure the tissue and skin can become permanently damaged or begin to die. In its early stage, a decubitus ulcer will form blisters or red spots that are easily detected on the surface of the skin.
Preventing a pressure sore is easy. Repositioning or turning the patient’s body every two hours or less is usually all that is required to alleviate the pressure. However, once the pressure ulcer has formed, it is essential to follow strict protocol to ensure it heels properly and completely. This requires proven steps including:
- Alleviate all pressure on the affected area
- Use effective wound dressings to cover the sore
- Ensure that the patient is receiving proper hydration and nutrition
- Closely monitor the skin 3 to 4 times every day to ensure the sore is not progressing to an advanced age
Without proper treatment, the damaged area can become significantly worse. Pressure ulcers in their advanced stages can be life threatening, where the wound opens, exposing bone and muscle. At this point, the patient’s life is in jeopardy if an infection of the bone (osteomyelitis) or blood (sepsis) develops. Many patients die from infection caused by decubitus ulcers.Hiring a Lawyer for a ND Pressure Ulcer Case
Families who suspect their loved one has developed a decubitus ulcer while a patient in a nursing facility need to seek legal counsel to stop the negligence immediately. A North Dakota decubitus ulcer attorney can ensure the loved one receives the best medical care in the facility by skilled medical personnel that specialize in treating life-threatening bedsores. These professionals offer their services in cities throughout North Dakota including:
- Grand Forks
Fill in the contact form here to schedule an appointment with a skilled attorney. No upfront fees are required because these law firms accept cases on contingency. Their services are paid from an out-of-court settlement or through a jury award at trial. The attorneys can provide a variety of legal options to stop the negligence and help the family obtain financial compensation for the pain and suffering their loved one has endured.