Bedsores, also known as decubitus or pressure ulcers, are serious skin injuries that occur from excessive pressure, friction, or shear. Bedsores most often occur when an individual lies for an extended period of time in one position, typically because the individual is ill, elderly, and/or bedridden. While bedsores primarily affect the skin, they also cause damage to the underlying tissues, which may lead to life-threatening infections.
If you or your loved one suffered bedsores while under the care of a nursing home or assisted living facility, you may be able to take legal action. Nursing home caregivers are responsible for ensuring that residents are not harmed; this includes properly turning bedridden residents to avoid bedsores. Failure to do so is a form of neglect and the responsible party/parties can be held liable.
Contact our firm online or by phone at (832) 501-2823 for a confidential consultation with one of our Houston bedsore attorneys. We also serve clients in Chicago.
Risk Factors & Early Warning Signs of Bedsores
Certain individuals are at an elevated risk of bedsores, including elderly people who are immobile, lack sensory perception, or have certain medical conditions that affect blood flow. Malnutrition and dehydration can also increase an individual’s risk of developing pressure ulcers.
Some common early warning signs of bedsores include:
- Changes in skin texture and/or color
- Skin that feels unusually warm or cool to the touch
- Pus-like fluids and draining
If your loved one is at risk of bedsores, be sure to take note of areas of the body where bedsores are most common, including at or near the buttocks and tailbone, along the shoulder blades and spine, and on the back of legs and arms. If your loved one is bedridden, be sure to examine the back of his or her head, as well as the hip, heels, ankles, and any area of the body that rests against the bed regularly.
Common Complications of Bedsores
Bedsores are very serious, as they can lead to a number of severe and potentially fatal complications, including:
- Infections, including infections of the bones and joints
- Squamous cell carcinoma (cancer)
- Sepsis (blood poisoning)
- Cellulitis, or skin infections
To prevent bedsores, nursing home staff should check residents regularly and help them shift their weight. This is particularly important for residents who are confined to their beds or to wheelchairs. Failure to do so can be considered negligence.
Contact an Attorney at Our Firm Today
If your elderly loved one developed bedsores or developed health complications as a result of bedsores while in a nursing home, he or she may be entitled to receive compensation for damages such as pain and suffering, medical expenses, reduced quality of life, emotional distress, and more. To learn more about your rights and legal options, contact our Houston-based bedsore lawyers as soon as possible.
We can be reached online or by phone at (832) 501-2823.