Bedsores in Littleton Nursing Homes
Bedsores also referred to as decubitus ulcers and pressure ulcers or sores, are potentially life-threatening pustules that develop from the prolonged application of pressure on a particular region of the body. Bedsores typically develop in places on the body where skin and bone are in close contact (e.g., hips, ankles, lower back, and heels). Senior citizens are particularly prone to getting pressure ulcers due to medical conditions and afflictions common among elderly adults.
While an individual’s clinical condition may put them at risk of inevitably developing bedsores, those who develop bedsores while residing in a nursing home may be victims of nursing home abuse or neglect. If your aging loved one lives in a long-term senior care home and has recently developed pressure ulcers, they may not be receiving the attention and medical care that they require. To learn more about the correlation between bedsores in Littleton nursing homes and neglect, contact a personal injury attorney.
Stages and Symptoms of Bedsores
Due to the age, medical conditions, and lack of mobility of seniors, the elderly are highly susceptible to developing pressure sores, particularly if they suffer from malnutrition, dehydration, or incontinence. Bedsores are typically diagnosed as Stage 1, 2, 3, or 4, depending on the ulcer’s severity, and can cause a wide range of symptoms to varying extents. On this scale, pressure ulcers classified as Stage 1 are the least severe, as they are closed wounds, with symptoms including little to no pain, slight skin discoloration, and a difference in firmness or softness of the surrounding skin.
During Stage 2, bedsores become open wounds that expand to deeper skin levels, which may cause increased pain levels and temporary or permanent skin damage. At Stage 3, bedsores have significantly worsened, extending to the tissue beneath the skin and by Stage 4, ulcers will have reached and extended into muscle and bone, resulting in extensive physical damage to the body. Pressure ulcers at Stage 3 or 4 may become seriously infected if not expeditiously treated.
Bedsores and Nursing Home Neglect
In the United States, the standard of care and legal requirements for long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes, is established under federal law and is codified at Title 42 of the Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) under § 483. Under 42 C.F.R. § 483.25, nursing home facilities must perform a comprehensive assessment of each resident to ensure they receive medical care and treatment based on a care plan specially tailored to suit their needs. Under 42 C.F.R. § 483.25(b)(i), nursing homes must provide residents with a standard of medical care that prevents them from developing pressure ulcers unless their clinical condition otherwise makes bedsores’ development unavoidable.
According to the federally established standard of care for nursing homes, if a resident’s clinical condition does not provide for the unavoidable development of bedsores, there is significant reason to believe that the senior is a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect. While the presence of bedsores alone is not sufficient to support a nursing home abuse claim, there are so few instances in which a care home resident would develop bedsores otherwise that detection of these ulcers is a strong indication of elder neglect or abuse.
Schedule a Case Evaluation with a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney in Littleton
Pressure sores can be excruciating and potentially life-threatening ailment to endure, particularly for older adults with ulcers that progress to Stage 3 or 4. In cases where a nursing home resident develops bedsores while under the facility’s’ care, unless there is an investigation or other showing of evidence made to prove otherwise, the senior’s medical care needs are likely not being met.
If you or someone you know has an elderly family member that lives in a residential care facility and is exhibiting signs or symptoms of bedsores in Littleton nursing homes, they could be suffering from neglect. To initiate your potential injury claim, call today to schedule your risk-free legal consultation with a Littleton nursing home abuse lawyer.