Oklahoma Nursing Home Neglect
Pressure ulcers can be avoided when the medical team at a nursing facility performs routine daily inspections of every patient’s skin. Proper medical care at the facility requires the nursing staff to perform proven protocols of skin management at the beginning of every shift. This is because pressure ulcers (decubitus ulcers; pressure sores; bedsores) can develop when pressure remains constant on the patient’s skin for more than two hours. Common places on the body where pressure ulcers develop include:
- Ankles, toes, heels and knees
- Ears, neck and the back of the head
- The spine, shoulder blades, shoulders and elbows
- Sacrum (tailbone), hipbones and buttocks
The skin can develop a bedsore from restricted blood flow to the area when the weight of the patient’s body pushes against a pad, chair or mattress. Limiting the amount of blood minimizes the delivery of oxygen to the skin and underlying tissue. When the affected area is deprived of oxygen, the dermis and epidermis layers of skin can start to die or be permanently damaged.
Our Oklahoma nursing home negligence attorneys regularly represent individuals and families in lawsuits against facilities where a pressure sore developed or worsened. All of our cases are handled on a contingency fee basis where there is only a legal fee charged when there is a financial recovery for you. Complete the contact form here for a free case review.Routine Skin Inspections Needed to Identify & Treat Pressure Wounds
The nursing staff is duty bound to provide each patient premium healthcare around-the-clock. This includes performing routine skin inspections to look for any signs of developing sores. In its initial stage, a pressure ulcer will appear as a fluid filled blister with red dots or an inflamed area that feels cooler or warmer than the surrounding tissue.
At the first sign of a developing bedsore, it is essential to alleviate the pressure. Within days, the wound can heal completely. However, if the area is left unattended, it can easily progress to an advanced stage where a small crater develops, exposing fat deposits.
After the crater of an advancing wound appears, it can easily develop into a life-threatening stage as the area becomes susceptible to a skin infection (sepsis) or bone infection (osteomyelitis). At its most critical stage, the crater deepens to expose bone and muscle below. Without effective antibiotics, the patient can easily die from a compromised immune system.
All advanced stages of a developing bedsore can be eliminated through routine skin inspections. Doctors treating decubitus ulcers use a variety of procedures including debridement where the dead or dying tissue is cut away from the wound.
This is why most facility-acquired pressure sores are considered to be caused by negligence at the facility. With proper treatment, the wound could have easily been prevented or not allowed the opportunity to progress to a crucial stage.Why Routine Adjustments Are Necessary to Reduce Build Up of Pressure
When the nursing staff routinely adjust the patient’s body every two hours or less, the potential of developing a bedsore is nearly eliminated. Successful nursing homes with a good track record usually follow scheduled turning and readjusting protocols for every mobility-challenge patient. This is because many bedridden and wheelchair-bound individuals are unable to reposition themselves without assistance.Holding the Nursing Home or Hospital Accountable for Bed Sores
Because nearly every type of pressure ulcer is preventable, any sign of a loved one in a nursing home suffering a bedsore is typically an indicator of negligence by the medical team. Negligence is often the result of improperly trained medical staff not following proven protocols to minimize the potential of developing a sore. As a result, many families with a loved one suffering a bedsore will hire an Oklahoma pressure ulcer attorney to stop the negligence immediately.
Our Oklahoma nursing home negligence law firm can provide family members numerous legal options to seek financial compensation for damages, report the negligence to proper authorities, and hold the nursing home accountable. In addition, the lawyers can send medical personnel into the nursing facility to treat the patient’s life-threatening condition properly. They provide the services in cities all throughout Oklahoma including:
- Oklahoma City
- Broken Arrow
Fill out the form here to contact an Oklahoma pressure ulcer attorney from the list below. These law firms accept nursing home negligence cases on contingency and provide legal services to help stop the abuse and assist families seeking financial compensation for damages.