Philadelphia Bed Sore Attorney
If you or a loved one developed bedsores while in the hospital or a care facility, you may recover compensation. Bedsores do not need to happen and, in most situations, are preventable. Bedsore injury victims can lose their lives because of this condition.
The sores and ulcers are painful and damage the skin and underlying tissue. If you believe you developed bedsores due to the negligence of a caretaker, nurse, or another healthcare professional, you may pursue compensation for your losses. The Levin Firm is here to help.
At The Levin Firm, we represent victims of bedsore injuries and their families. We understand the seriousness of a bedsore injury and the dangerous and devastating condition it is. Families that want to get help for their loved ones suffering from a bedsore injury can feel frustrated and helpless, unsure of what they can do to get justice for their family member and get them the help they need as quickly as possible. We want to help you fight to get yourself or your loved ones the proper care and compensation you deserve following a bedsore injury.
Our team of attorneys knows how negligence leads to bedsores and when a victim is likely eligible to seek compensation for their damages when they sustain this injury. If you are currently experiencing a bedsore injury, our firm can help you get the proper care you need and begin to prepare your case against those responsible. We will step in quickly to represent you and your interests after a bedsore injury. We can evaluate your case and your injuries, calculate your damages, and discover the parties that could be responsible.
Individuals that develop bedsores are likely to experience pain and discomfort, and risk the possibility of serious complications if doctors do not treat the sores promptly and correctly. Bedsores often happen to those most vulnerable in our communities, such as the elderly, individuals with disabilities, or those with limited mobility in rehabilitation for injuries or surgery.
Bedsores can happen in any setting but is a condition that most commonly develops in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, healthcare settings, and rehabilitation centers.
Bedsores are also called skin ulcers or pressure sores. They develop when individuals cannot move easily. They remain in the same position, putting pressure on certain body parts or exposing some areas to frequent friction.
Some body parts are more prone to skin ulcers than others, although they can happen anywhere on the skin. A lack of blood circulation to any area for a period of just a few hours can result in bedsores. When there is no movement or blood flow to the skin tissue for too much time, the skin will slowly begin to deteriorate and die, leading to a sore. Once the sore develops, the tissue around it is at high risk of also dying and the sore getting more extensive in size and depth.
Areas of the body where bedsores are most at risk of developing are:
- Buttock area or along the back of the leg
- Areas of bony protrusions such as the pelvic area, heels, or the tailbone
- The area along the spine
- The back of the head
- Shoulder area
Pressure injuries are a common injury and condition amongst individuals in healthcare settings across the U.S. Studies indicate that between one to three million people each year suffer from a pressure injury.
A significant percentage of these individuals who develop pressure injuries are at a higher risk of death due to complications from bedsores.
Bedsores cause over 60,000 American deaths each year. In many cases, bedsores are avoidable with proper care and preventive measures by those caring for those most vulnerable to develop these injuries. When a bedsore harms a patient or resident of a medical or care facility, a prompt inquiry should determine the root cause of the injury and take action to treat it.
Care facilities and medical facilities may want you to believe that bedsores are inevitable and a part of the struggles of caring for the elderly and vulnerable population. However, this is not true. Most bedsores that develop are due to failures or missteps in care. When a bedsore condition worsens and develops into serious complications, a caretaker or nurse failed to recognize the beginning stages of a bedsore.
Negligence is the most common reason bedsores develop in patients or residents. It is the duty of those responsible for the care of the elderly and others in medical or care facilities to first and foremost identify the individuals at highest risk of developing this condition and take proactive measures to prevent the bedsores from occurring.
Situations that can lead to bedsores include:
- Malnutrition or dehydration
- High-risk conditions such as diabetes and other circulation problems
- Improper positioning or lack or routine change in position
- Neglect of the victim
- Lack of proper hygiene and cleanliness
The Stages of a Bedsore
Bedsores develop in stages. Depending on the stage a bedsore is in can give clues as to how long the bedsore has worsened or went without proper treatment and how long it may take for the sore to heal. Bedsores are complex injuries as they can worsen quickly, expand and cause deep damage to the skin and underlying tissues-even reaching the bone in some of the most severe cases.
Knowing the stages of bedsores can help you better understand the severity of the bedsore injury and if negligence in the diagnosis, care, and/or treatment plan caused them.
Staging of bedsores:
- Stage 1 – The problematic area will show darkening or reddening of the skin, but the sore is not yet open. It can look similar to bruising, but the area will also feel warm, and the bedsore victim may complain of itchiness or burning.
- Stage 2 – At this stage, the sore opens. A visible wound and damage to the skin develop. A victim will feel pain and the wound begins to change in appearance.
- Stage 3 – The damage to the tissues begins to deepen and widen. The appearance of the wound is significantly worse, and the damage is pervasive. At this stage, a wound can be very difficult to manage effectively and may require intensive treatment and constant care to prevent further damage and promote healing.
- Stage 4 – In this stage of a bedsore, life-threatening risks and complications can occur. The damage from the sore reaches deep into the body and can affect a joint nearby, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones.
Complications That Can Follow a Bedsore
The biggest threat to the life of a bedsore injury victim is infection. An open wound that worsens, remains exposed, and is not healing is at risk of developing an infection that can then lead to the development of sepsis, a deadly condition that is difficult to treat effectively. Bedsores can take a matter of hours to develop but can take weeks, months, and even years to properly heal. Once a victim develops a bedsore, they are more susceptible to it, and any error or delay in care or treatment will cause the tissue that is healing to regress and worsen. It is much harder to treat a bedsore than to prevent one in the first place.
Beyond the risk of infection, an individual suffering from a bedsore injury faces painful recovery and significant effects on their quality of life and state of mind. Bedsore injuries are uncomfortable, cause severe pain, and can require a victim to undergo painful treatments and interventions.
Who Can Be Liable for Bedsore Injuries to a Victim?
Doctors, nurses, and assistants manage the care of patients and residents in nursing homes, hospitals, rehabilitation, and other care facilities. Bedsores occur due to inadequate care from lack of training, experience, insufficient staffing, or outright malpractice.
Liability for bedsore injuries to patients and residents depends on the circumstances in each case. One or multiple parties may be responsible for the actions or inactions leading to the development of these painful pressure sores.
Parties that may be liable for a bedsore injury include:
- Nursing assistants
- Other healthcare professionals
- Nursing homes
- Assisted Living Facilities
- Rehabilitation centers
How Can You Help a Loved One Suffering from Bedsores?
If you have a loved one in a nursing home or healthcare facility and they develop bedsores, you must act quickly to get them the care they need and protect their rights. Do not hesitate to contact a bedsore injury lawyer as soon as possible. A bedsore injury attorney can give you the best course of action to get your loved one the help they need and hold those responsible accountable for the damage, pain, and suffering they have caused your loved one.
Actions a bedsore injury lawyer can help you with:
- Getting a loved one proper care and treatment for their pressure sores
- Transfer to a facility where they will get the care needed
- Evaluating the facts of the case, evidence, and records to build a case
- Discover who is liable for the bedsore injury
- File a claim for injury and damages that result from the injury
- Negotiate a settlement for compensation for the losses due to a bedsore
- Move to file a lawsuit if it should become necessary
A victim may face long-term difficulties and prolonged recovery from severe bedsore damage. With that comes extensive financial losses, pain, and suffering.
In some cases, the victims of a bedsore injury can die from complications and the severe damage that occurs to their bodies. As a bedsore injury victim, you may be eligible to recover for losses that are both economic and non-economic in your case.
The following damages are recoverable in bedsore injury cases:
- Medical expenses – The treatment for bedsores is complex and can involve various interventions, hospitalizations, and surgery. This can result in high medical bills and expenses for which a victim can seek recovery in a claim or lawsuit.
- Income loss – If you cannot get back to work because of your bedsore injury or you must care for a loved one with a serious bedsore injury and miss out on income, you may be eligible for compensation for these losses in a bedsore injury case.
- Pain and suffering – The pain, discomfort, emotional and mental trauma that follows a bedsore injury can be significant to a victim. The individuals dealing with bedsores can suffer a drastic reduction in their quality of life that affects their moods, relationship with their loved ones, and ability to enjoy life as they did before the injury. Some victims may eventually recover, while others face lingering pain and difficulties from their injuries.
- Wrongful death – If your loved one lost their life because of a bedsore, you may seek wrongful death compensation that includes funeral and burial expenses, the loss to your family, and other damages.
If you or a loved one developed bedsores due to negligent care, contact a Philadelphia bedsore injury lawyer at The Levin Firm at (215) 825-5183 for your free case consultation and discuss your right to compensation. Reach out to us now to get started.