A man has filed a lawsuit in Cook County against a nursing home claiming that the facility was neglectful and caused severe injuries. The man was a resident of Jackson Square Skilled Nursing & Living Center in Chicago from January through December, 2014. According to the lawsuit, the man, who is disabled, acquired severe pressure ulcers on several areas of his body. The sores were not properly cared for and as a result they became infected. The complaint states that the sores were infected with gangrene and required amputation. The lawsuit seeks more than $50,000 in damages.
Pressure Sores Can Be Serious
Pressure sores, also called pressure ulcers, are often signs of nursing home neglect. In this case, the man was disabled so he likely required assistance for moving in bed. When parts of the body rub against the sheets for too long, pressure ulcers are created. At first the sores are merely red marks but they can quickly worsen. Pressure ulcers are quite painful and if left untreated, they can become infected, as they did in this case. The sores break the skin and can even reach all the way down to the bone. These serious bedsores are dangerous because once they become infected they can be very difficult to treat, particularly in the elderly.
Consequences of Pressure Sores
Pressure sores may not seem like a deadly injury, but they certainly can be. When pressure ulcers are infected they are quite difficult to treat. When the sore deepens it affects the tissues and bones. The resulting infection is often difficult for elderly people to fight, even with antibiotics. If the infection cannot be contained it can result in sepsis, infection of the blood. Once this occurs, the situation is extremely serious and many patients die from sepsis every year. In this case, the man suffered a very dangerous infection that turned into gangrene. Gangrene is a condition where body tissues die due to lack of oxygen or circulation, which can be a result of infection. Gangrene can spread and in this case, amputation was necessary.
Prevention of Pressure Ulcers
Pressure ulcers can be prevented and the presence of them on a nursing home resident may indicate neglect. Patients who are immobile require regular care to turn and move them in the bed. Failure to keep the person moving can result in bed sores. When a bedsore appears the staff must take special care to make sure that it does not get worse. This requires vigilance on the part of the nursing care workers. The patient must be turned even more often and attention must be paid to the areas where the ulcers have started to appear. If ulcers worsen they must be treated with medication as quickly as possible to prevent infection.
Nursing Home Neglect
Cases such as this one show that many nursing homes may not be providing the level of care that they should. Nursing home neglect may occur due to understaffing, lack or training, or poor management, among other things. If your loved one suffered from a pressure ulcer it may be cause for concern. The resident should be closely monitored to make sure that the ulcer improves and a physician should examine the sore. In situations where the patient was seriously injured or died as a result of nursing home neglect it is imperative to speak with a qualified attorney. The experienced lawyers at Levin & Perconti provide consultations to review your case.
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