The presence of a pressure sore, often called a bed sore, is not a normal condition or part of the average process of being a nursing home patient. Instead, these wounds can often reflect a lack of care that is being provided to a resident or even intentional abuse perpetrated by the staff of Illinois nursing home upon some of their most vulnerable patients.
Pressure sores are injuries that occur when too much weight, or pressure, is applied to a person’s skin for a prolonged period of time. Typically they happen when an immobile patient is forced to lay in a bed all day or sit in a chair for hours on end without that patient’s weight being redistributed. If the same portions of the skin support a significant amount of a patient’s weight, that skin will break down over time, exposing the soft tissues underneath or even a patient’s bone. Once a bed sore forms, they can be very difficult to treat and they make it much more likely that a patient will contract an infection through the site of the injury.
Pressure sores are categorized based upon their depth and how severe they are at the time they are reviewed. Stage I is considered the most mild form of a pressure sore while Stage IV is the most extreme, often involving the exposure of muscle or bone at the base of the sore and incorporating dead tissue in and around the sore. Bed sores can develop over any portion of the body but some of the most common locations include the tailbone, buttocks, lower back, back of hips, heels, ankles, shoulder blades, back or side of the head, and arms or legs if a victim spends excessive time in a chair. Though people of any age can suffer from a bed sore, the risks are greatest for those who are of an advanced age, lack mobility, have decreased sense of sensation, are in a coma, who smoke or previously smoked, have a medical condition that affects blood flow, or who experience sudden weight loss.
Family members of nursing home victims may not realize what signs to look for when it comes to bed sores or pressure sores, and unless staff members are forthcoming with information, families may not know that a bed sore is even present on their loved one. As these injuries often happen to areas of the body that are covered by clothing, it can be easy to conceal them if a nursing home facility is trying to hide a sore.
Bed sores can be prevented in nearly every situation if a resident receives the care and treatment that she deserves by a staff that is committed to her wellbeing. By providing regular turns, moving a patient frequently, and addressing any issues as soon as they arise, a resident of a long term care facility in Chicago should not be victimized by pressure sores.
If someone you love has a pressure sore or if you suspect nursing home abuse or neglect, you and your loved one may be entitled to seek relief for your damages in a court of law. The legal team at Abels & Annes, P.C. offers a no-cost, no-obligation case consultation to injury victims who call us toll free at (855) 529-2442 or locally at (312) 924-7575 and we have a licensed lawyer available to speak with you 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Do not let suffering continue to harm someone you love. If you need help, contact us today and let us fight for the rights of your loved one.
Prior Blog Entry:
Delayed Treatment Can Be Nursing Home Abuse, Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog, published January 25, 2016.