Bed sores are unfortunately a common occurrence inside nursing homes. However, the reality is that preventing bed sores is one of the duties of nursing home staff members. Bed sores are not inevitable, and they are usually caused by a lack of quality care. Here, we want to discuss whether or not you may be able to file a lawsuit against a nursing home if your loved ones have developed bed sores. Proving liability in these cases can be complicated, but it is crucial that negligent nursing home staff members and operators are held accountable for their actions.
What Are Bed Sores (Pressure Ulcers)?
Bed sores are often referred to as pressure ulcers, and this refers to damage to the outer layers of the skin and the underlying tissue due to long term pressure on a person’s body. Bed sores are more likely to occur on parts of the body where there is a small amount of tissue between the bones and the skin, such as the tailbone area, shoulders, heels, hips, etc.
Bed sores vary in severity and are usually placed into four stages:
Stage 1 – Superficial sores that create redness in the affected area.
Stage 2 – Ulcer create a break in the skin and forms a blister.
Stage 3 – The sore consumes all of the skin in the affected area and begins to affect fatty tissue below the skin.
Stage 4 – Complete degradation of the outer skin and surrounding tissues underneath, often accompanied by exposure of the underlying muscle or bone.
Bed sores have various causes, and nursing home residents are usually at higher risk of sustaining these injuries than other people in society. Some of the factors that increase the likelihood of a nursing home resident developing bed sores include:
Lack of proper hygiene
Improper handling of a resident, leading to friction or shearing on the skin
A care provider’s failure to reposition a resident
Moisture buildup, often from bodily secretions
Immobility of a resident and a lack of exercise
Can a Nursing Home Be Held Liable for Bed Sores?
Nursing home facilities may face legal liability if a resident develops bed sores. However, the success of any lawsuit in these cases will depend on various factors, including I care that the resident received as well as how the bed sores developed. Legally recovering compensation in these cases will depend on establishing that:
There was a duty of care between the resident and the nursing home staff
The nursing home staff breached that duty through their negligence
Their breach of duty directly caused the bed sores
The residents suffered compensable damages
It is crucial for any family member who discovers that their loved one has been mistreated in a nursing home to work with a skilled Anaheim bed sores attorney to help them with their case. Bed sore claims can become complicated, but an attorney will be able to conduct a complete investigation into the incident and help prove liability. Nursing home residents who develop bed sores due to the negligence of the nursing home staff may be entitled to various types of compensation, including coverage of their medical bills, pain and suffering damages, compensation to relocate to a new facility, and more.