West Virginia Nursing Home Neglect
Most West Virginia nursing facilities are filled to capacity. This is because the average age of Americans continues to rise as more individuals are living in their retirement years. Because of that, there has been a significant increase in the demand for quality health caregivers. As a result, there are far less properly trained nurses and nurse aides to meet the increasing need.
Many nursing facilities throughout the state of West Virginia have been cited by the CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) for negligence, abuse or inattention to patients under their care. Even with the citations, much of the negligence and abuse continues, where patients are victimized in various ways. Without proper monitoring due to unskilled caregivers or minimal staffing, many patients in nursing facilities develop pressure ulcers that are often so severe that the quality of their lives are substantially diminished.A Serious Health Problem: Pressure Sores
The medical team in West Virginia nursing homes are duty bound to provide routine skin monitoring to patients, especially those who have compromised mobility. When the skin is not assessed every day, the patient can easily develop a pressure sore (pressure ulcer; decubitus ulcer; bedsore).
Pressure sores are serious health problems that can develop in as little as a few hours when continuous body pressure pushes down on a pad, mattress, cushion or chair. The pressure restricts blood circulation to the skin causing it permanent damage. Some parts of the body are more susceptible to developing a bedsore than others. These include:
- Hipbones, buttocks, sacrum and spine
- Shoulder blades, shoulders and the back of the head
- Back of the knees and elbows
- Toes, heels and ankles
Nearly every type of pressure sore can be prevented through a simple readjustment of the body every couple of hours. Turning or repositioning the body alleviates the pressure and minimizes the potential of skin damage or tissue death at the affected site. Because the condition is so easily avoided, most pressure sores acquired in a nursing facility are the result of negligence.
Through constant monitoring, the nursing staff can ensure that every mobility-challenged patient bound to a wheelchair or bedridden is provided special care that includes:
- Quality nutritional food
- Proper hydration
- Routine repositioning
- Daily skin inspections
- Pressure-relieving padding and bedding materials
When the above basic necessities to high-risk patients are disregarded, and the resident develops a bedsore, the medical staff can be held legally liable for their negligence.Practices and Protocols Needed to Identify & Treat Pressure Sores in West Virginia Medical Facilities
West Virginia nursing facilities are obligated to follow medically accepted practices and protocols proven effective at preventing bedsores. In addition, the doctors and nurses are required to develop an effective health plan for every patient upon their admittance to the home. Through implementation of the plan, the patient must be given the best medical care to minimize the potential of developing a sore. If admitted with an existing bedsore, the staff must develop an effective plan to provide quality treatment to start the healing process.
When an existing pressure sore is allowed to progress to an advanced stage, the staff and facility can be held responsible for their negligence. As a result, many families hire a West Virginia pressure ulcer lawyer who specializes in medical malpractice lawsuits. The nursing home attorney can take legal steps to stop the negligence, inattention or abuse immediately.
In addition, the law firm can ensure that the patient receives quality medical care from trained personnel who specialize in treating life threatening decubitus ulcers. The professionals provide their services in cities all throughout West Virginia including:
Fill in the contact form here to speak with a reputable West Virginia pressure ulcer lawyer listed below. These experienced law firms can accept your case on contingency to help you avoid paying any upfront fees. Your attorney can file a claim demanding financial compensation for the pain, suffering and losses your loved one has endured because of the negligence caused by an irresponsible medical staff.