What is a Pressure Ulcer?
One of most common and identifiable signs of neglect in a nursing home is a resident suffering from pressure ulcers. Also called decubitus ulcers, pressure injuries, or more commonly, bedsores, pressure ulcers are localized areas of damage to the skin as a result of pressure or friction. As the pressure or friction is sustained or increased in frequency, the injury increases in severity as tracked by different stages, beginning with Stage I and increasing to Stage IV. As pressure ulcers increase in stages, they become greater risks to a resident’s health and can lead to infection that can ultimately be fatal.
Elderly Residents in Long-Term Facilities Are At Risk
The individuals who are most likely to be affected by this injury are residents who are immobile in a bed or wheelchair or have weakened immune systems that inhibit their body’s healing process. This dependence upon their caregivers to regularly turn or reposition them creates a dangerous risk of neglect if a long-term care facility does not have sufficient staff to do so. Because pressure ulcers are largely considered avoidable injuries by utilizing these simple preventative measures, their presence is often looked at as patent evidence of neglect.
Pressure Ulcers Litigation: A Sign of Nursing Home Negligence
If you notice pressure ulcers appearing on a loved-one while they are inside a nursing home, you should act quickly to obtain medical assistance for them and put the facility on notice of the neglect occurring. If you suspect a loved-one may be the victim of abuse or neglect, seek legal advice from a nursing home attorney immediately. Keep following this on-going series to learn more about the different stages of pressure ulcers and their resulting effects.
Eric J. Hertz, P.C.
Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys