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Bedsores – An Example of Nursing Home Neglect

If you visited a loved one and noticed bed sores, pressure sores and/or decubitus ulcers, do not delay in taking action to protect your loved one and to hold the nursing home accountable.

For many people, the decision to place a family in a nursing home in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, or elsewhere in Virginia, is quite difficult. Many families have to make this tough decision because a loved one has become quite ill or cannot be left alone for fear of greater harm.

Turning over your loved one’s care and well-being to a nursing home entails an exceptional level of trust. You are placing your trust in the nurses, aides, attendees, and doctors at the facility. You have every right to expect a high level of care for your loved one. Upon admittance to a Virginia nursing home, you probably never expect to be notified that your loved one suffered a facility-acquired bedsore or was neglected to the point of your loved one becoming dehydrated or suffering a serious fall.

What Exactly is a Bedsore?

A bedsore (also known as a pressure sore, pressure ulcer, or decubitus ulcers) occurs when nursing home patients have limited mobility and are forced to remain in a single position or location for an extended period of time. Bedsores often occur with patients who are wheelchair-bound or bedridden, or patients who are incapacitated due to a stroke, coma or other ailment.

bedsore can develop when a patient is unable reposition their body to alleviate pressure on specific pressure points. The pressure restricts oxygenated blood circulation, which causes skin damage or tissue death to the affected area in as little as two hours or more.

Preventing a bedsore or pressure sore is relatively easy. The medical staff at the nursing home should complete the following tasks:

  • Change bed linens, cushions, padding or garment under your loved one’s body regularly;
  • Follow a routine to readjust or turn the patient’s body position a minimum of one time every hour; and
  • Use proven methods to treat every existing pressure sore to minimize the potential of the wound getting worse and becoming infected.

Without proper treatment and attention, an early-stage bedsore can develop into a severe ulcerated wound, where the underlying tissue, fatty deposits, muscles, tendons and bone are exposed. At this stage, the patient can develop a bone infection or sepsis, which can put their life at risk.

Nursing Homes Legally Obligated to Provide a Standard of Care to All Patients

The medical staff at the nursing home is required to provide patients the best care they can 24/7. This means that all treatments, protocols and procedures must be adhered to and respected. When a nursing home fails to provide reasonable care and your loved one develops bedsores, it creates a legal basis to take legal action against the facility for negligence.  

Take Legal Action Now

If you discover your loved one developed a bedsore, or multiple bed sores, take action and schedule a time to speak with a bedsore lawyer in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, or elsewhere in Virginia. Your Virginia nursing home negligence attorney can help you take the steps necessary to stop the negligent care. The lawyers at Shapiro & Appleton are ready and able to help. Our firm has handled nursing home abuse and neglect cases and achieved successful outcomes for our clients.

If you would like additional information about your legal options, download a PDF guide on what to do if you suspect a loved one is being neglected at a nursing home in Virginia.

Eric K. Washburn
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Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Lawyer Serving Va Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake & all of Virginia