Rhode Island Lawyers Serving Victims of Bed Sores, Pressure Sores & Decubitus Ulcers
The number of senior citizens has risen rapidly over the years, and so too has the increasing need for nursing home beds. With such a large aging population in their retirement years, many more individuals are unable to take care of themselves without some assistance. However, this increasing demand on nursing homes has left many administrators searching for caregivers with training on how to provide quality care to seniors. With minimal staffing and lack of quality nurses and nurse’s aides, the numbers of nursing home patients developing decubitus ulcers has been on the rise.
A decubitus ulcer (pressure ulcer; bedsore; pressure sore) can develop easily when a patient with mobility issues remains idle for an extended time. Without repositioning, body pressure where it contacts the bed, wheelchair or pad can restrict blood circulation to the skin. In less than two hours, the lack of oxygen to skin and underlying tissue can become easily damaged, developing a bedsore. Without immediate treatment, the condition can worsen to a life-threatening stage.
Patients most at risk for developing a decubitus ulcer are those who are bedridden or wheelchair-bound, along with disabled individuals and those under constant sedation or in a coma. The most common areas on the body where pressure sores develop include the shoulders, buttocks, tailbone, hips, ankles, toes, heels, back of the head, neck, elbows and ears.
The Benefits of Skin Management at RI Nursing Homes and Hospitals
In nearly every case, decubitus ulcers are preventable as long as the nursing home provides minimal care. In its initial stage, a bedsore will appear as a wound with blisters and red spots where the surrounding skin is either cooler or firmer than the sore. To eliminate the potential of developing a bedsore, it is essential that the nursing facility take basic steps that include:
- Assess the patient’s skin when first admitted to the facility to look for any detectable signs of a developing or existing bedsore
- Create an effective health care plan for any patient with a high propensity of developing a decubitus ulcer including the disabled, wheelchair-bound, bedridden patients or those with the medical condition that would keep them from moving without assistance
- Evaluate the patient’s skin at the beginning of every nurse shift change to look for any signs of compromised pressure points on the body
- Change any clothing, bedding materials, pads or cushions that are wet or soiled to ensure the patient keeps clean and dry
- Provide the patient adequate hydration and nutritional meals to boost their immune system
Progressive Pressure Sores Need To Be Caught Early
The nursing home medical staff can be found negligent if the patient’s pressure sores are allowed to advance to a critical stage. This is because there are effective, proven protocols for managing existing bedsores in early stages to eliminate the potential of allowing the condition to worsen.
In its advanced stage, a decubitus ulcer can develop an open deep crater where the patient’s bone, tendons and muscles are exposed. Developing an infection of the bone (osteomyelitis) or blood (sepsis) at this stage is likely, placing the patient in grave danger.
Hiring an Attorney to Prosecuted A Rhode Island Bed Sore Case
When families discover their loved one in a Rhode Island nursing home has suffered a pressure sore, they usually make immediate contact with the administrator and nursing management. However, many nursing facilities will go to great lengths to deter any legal action by sending the injured patient home, to the hospital or to another nursing facility. Because of that, it is essential to hire a Rhode Island decubitus ulcer attorney to stop the neglect immediately.
Our Rhode Island attorneys listed below specialize in medical malpractice cases and can offer a variety of legal remedies to stop the neglect and hold those at fault legally responsible. An attorney can assist the family in seeking financial compensation for the injuries their loved one has suffered. These professionals offer their services in cities all throughout Rhode Island including:
- East Providence
Fill out the form here to speak with a Rhode Island decubitus ulcer attorney listed below. These law firms work on contingency and can provide you valuable options to obtain financial compensation for the damages your family has endured.