A nursing home is required to provide proper care and is supposed to be a place of comfort and support for our older relatives. Many times, children feel they will not be able to give their parents the high level of care necessary to keep them happy and healthy in their twilight years. Yet sometimes, nursing homes fail us and our loved ones. One recent case demonstrates how a situation can turn tragic. A man has filed a lawsuit against a nursing care facility alleging negligent care led to the death of his mother. The lawsuit, filed in Cook County, seeks a judgment greater than $50,000.
Decubitus ulcers are also called pressure ulcers and bedsores. They are skin wounds that occur when something repeatedly rubs on an area of the skin. Most often, bedding causes bedsores, but they can also happen when the skin is in contact with medical tubing or other items. The ulcers start as small yet painful red marks and can quickly worsen. It is imperative that caregivers check patients daily to ensure that bedsores are not forming.
Treatment of Pressure Ulcers
Proper treatment of pressure ulcers is essential for adequate healing to take place. There are four stages of pressure ulcers and each has its own suggested methods of care. Stage I ulcers are not open wounds so they generally do not require dressing. However, they should be cleaned and kept completely dry. Stage II and III ulcers require bandages which need to be properly changed on a regular basis. The treatment for stage IV ulcers depends on the severity and depth of the wound. Some serious ulcers may require surgical debridement.
Pressure Ulcers in Nursing Homes
Pressure ulcers are a common occurrence in nursing homes, but they are usually a sign of neglect and are preventable. If a patient is bedridden and unable to move on their own, the care providers must move them regularly. It is recommended that a patient be repositioned about every two hours. Pressure ulcer devices are available to help relieve pressure in some common areas of the body. This will help to reduce the incidence of sores. As soon as a sore is noticed it must be diagnosed and treated.
Medical Treatment Plan
A treatment plan should be developed and initiated by a doctor at the onset of a pressure ulcer. The plan will include suggested treatment of the sores as well as steps that must be taken to prevent them from worsening. Additionally, care must be provided to prevent further sores from developing. The plan may also include medications or nutritional plans that will assist in healing the sores more quickly. The failure to report a pressure sore to a doctor is neglectful. Once a sore is noticed it must be reported and it needs to be evaluated regularly to ensure that it is healing as it should.
Those who suffered a serious infection because of a pressure sore in a nursing home may be entitled to compensation for their medical costs and other damages. Contact Levin & Perconti to schedule a consultation.
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