Bedsores, also called pressure sores or decubitus ulcers, can be very painful and serious. Sadly, this type of injury is very common among elderly hospital patients and residents of nursing homes. Nearly one-fourth of nursing home residents develop bedsores at some point during their stay. Sometimes, inadequate medical care can cause bedsores to become fatal.
Bedsores result from putting too much pressure on an area of the body with a bone and thin covering of skin for too long. Susceptible areas include heels, elbows, the tailbone, and shoulder blades. To avoid injury, patients must frequently reposition themselves in bed. Patients who cannot do so due to immobility must rely on the help of hospital or nursing home staff for assistance. When nursing home staff fail in this duty to care properly for residents, and their negligent actions result in injury to the resident, they can be held liable for their carelessness.
Bedsores are caused by the following conditions:
- Dehydration and malnutrition
- Staying in one position in bed for too long
- Skin moisture from wet sheets or unchanged diapers
What Types of Patients are At Risk of Developing Bedsores?
People who are especially vulnerable to bedsores include:
- Patients over the age of 75
- Underweight patients
- Incontinent patients
- Patients suffering from dry skin
- Patients who cannot feed themselves
- Patients suffering from a diminished mental state
- Patients who have trouble sensing the need to reposition
- Patients being treated for a variety of medical conditions
Most bedsores are preventable, and nursing homes are required by law to ensure that their residents do not develop them (unless the resident’s medical condition made them unavoidable). If a person does develop bedsores, it is the nursing home staff’s responsibility to ensure that the condition does not worsen through attentive care. Preventative measures like helping the patient get enough exercise, moisturizing the skin, ensuring proper nourishment and hydration, and keeping bed sheets dry and clean are essential steps for decreasing the chance of developing bedsores.
Have you suffered injury from bedsores or lost a loved one from complications related to bedsores? If you believe your care provider was to blame, contact the Washington, D.C. medical malpractice lawyer at The Law Offices of Dr. Michael M. Wilson, M.D., J.D. & Associates. Our lawyer can launch an investigation of your case to help determine whether negligent care caused the injury and who can be held responsible.
You may be entitled to compensation – to find out if you have a case, call us today at (202) 223-4488.
Dr. Michael M. Wilson is an attorney and a physician who earned his undergraduate degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his legal and medical degrees from Georgetown University. He has focused in the area of medical malpractice for more than three decades and secured more than $100 million in settlements and verdicts on behalf of clients throughout the country. He is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia and New York as well as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and the U.S. Supreme Court. He is listed in America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators.