South Dakota Nursing Home Neglect
When a nursing home patient is not fed nutritional meals or kept clean and dry, they can easily develop a bedsore if unable to reposition their body every two hours or less. Wheelchair-bound and bedridden patients are the most susceptible to developing bedsores (pressure sores; pressure ulcer; decubitus ulcers). Prolonged pressure on bony parts of the body continuously contacting a mattress, pad or chair can restrict blood flow. Without oxygen, skin and underlying tissue can become damaged or die.
Common areas where pressure ulcers occurr include the patient’s neck, back of the head, shoulder blades, shoulders, elbows, hipbones, tailbone, buttocks, toes, heels and ankles. The first noticeable signs of a pressure sore typically appear as red spots or blisters where the surrounding tissue is noticeably cooler or warmer than the wound.The Standard of Care SD Medical Care Facilities
The medical professionals in nursing facilities are responsible to provide every patient basic acceptable standards of care to minimize the development of a sore. Doctors, nurses, nurse’s aides and the facility itself can be held legally accountable for negligence if any developing bedsore is allowed to progress to an advanced stage.
Severe cases of decubitus ulcers usually require extensive medical care including debridement, where a doctor removes dead skin from the wound. Without proper treatment, the ulcerated sore can expose the bone and muscle below, making the wound highly vulnerable to infection of the blood (sepsis) and bone (osteomyelitis). If antibiotics are ineffective, the patient can die quickly from the bedsore-related infection.
Many families have no other choice than to place a grandparent, parent or disabled sibling in the care of a nursing facility. They entrust nursing homes with the duty of providing continuous quality care to their loved one, ensuring that their well-being and health are maintained.
Typically, nursing home administrators and admitting staff provide assurance to the family that their loved one will be treated with care, respect and dignity at all times. This is why families are often disturbed to find that their loved one has developed a pressure ulcer while at the facility. Because nearly every type of bedsore is preventable, a developing skin wound is usually a sign of neglect by the medical professionals at the nursing home.
Nearly all nursing facilities are run by “for profit” corporations that are willing to sacrifice the health of the patient for a better return on their investment. As a result, many nursing homes are understaffed or operate on minimal budgets where only unskilled or untrained caregivers are hired. Many patients suffer bedsores because the facility lacks properly trained staff to provide constant skin monitoring.
Nursing homes are to follow rigorous protocols that ensure the patient’s potential of developing a sore is eliminated. This involves routine schedule “turning” or readjusting of the patient’s body every two hours or less. These protocols ensure that all pressure on the patient’s skin is alleviated before the potential of a developing sore can occur. When strictly followed, this simple procedure can save the life of the patient.Legal Action Available to Those Who Have Acquired Decubitus Ulcer in a South Dakota Facility
Nursing home management and caregivers are charged with a legal and ethical obligation to protect the health and well-being of every patient at the facility. When the medical professionals breach their obligation, any patient who develops a sore can be facing a serious life-threatening condition.
When families realize their loved one in a nursing home has developed a bedsore, taking legal action is often necessary to stop the negligence. Hiring a South Dakota nursing home attorney is a viable solution hold those responsible accountable for their actions. The attorney can also file a claim for financial compensation to pay for quality care to ensure that the love one heels properly. They provide their services in South Dakota cities including:
- Sioux Falls
- Rapid City
Fill out the contact form here to schedule an appointment with a South Dakota pressure ulcer lawyer listed below. These attorneys work on contingency and can assist you and your family in stopping the abuse now.