Sawyer Law Firm has filed a lawsuit against Brookdale Senior Living Communities, Inc. containing allegations of the neglect of a resident at one of its facilities. The facility involved is Brookdale University Park in Birmingham, Alabama. The lawsuit, filed in the Circuit Court of Jefferson County, Alabama, alleges that the resident developed a severe Stage 4 pressure sore after being admitted to the facility for rehab following a hip fracture.
"The family had no idea that the resident had a bedsore until they got him home. When turned him over to change him, they discovered a softball size hole in his backside", says J.P. Sawyer who represents the family. The resident was immediately transferred to a local hospital where he remains in the critical care unit as a result of the pressure sore. "Some of the worst injuries people suffer in long-term care settings involve bedsores and the complications, such as infections, that arise from them," Sawyer said.
What Is a Bedsore?
A bedsore is damage to the skin caused by prolonged friction or pressure against the skin, such as from lying down on a bed without being moved when you are unable to move. The technical term for these injuries is decubitus ulcers, though they’re also commonly known as pressure sores and pressure ulcers.
How Bedsores Happen
Though they’re often called bedsores, these injuries aren’t limited to bedridden people. They can happen from prolonged exposure to other objects or surfaces, such as wheelchairs. They most commonly form around bony areas of the body, including elbows, hips, ankles, buttocks, and shoulders. Bedsores are frequently seen in long-term care facilities when residents are stationary for long periods.
Who Is Most Susceptible to Bedsores?
Wheelchair users and people who are bedridden are at a high risk of developing bedsores. Someone is more likely to develop bedsores if they have fragile skin, are older, have conditions that limit blood flow in the body, lack adequate hygiene, lack proper nutrition, have difficulties controlling their bowels, or need assistance moving.
This means that bedsores are a serious problem among nursing home residents. Residents often have one or more of the risk factors listed above. Without intervention and proper care from a nursing home’s staff, these injuries can be life-threatening.
Steps to Avoid Bedsores
The best way to combat bedsores is prevention. Preventing pressure ulcers means frequently moving and cleaning a patient to relieve pressure and friction on the skin from commonly used surfaces. Proper hydration and nutrition also help keep the skin healthy.
Once a bedsore occurs, medical attention is often required. The injuries must be frequently cleaned and tended to. Proper care will prevent the bedsore from progressing to a more advanced stage.
Bedsores as a Sign of Neglect
Bedsores can indicate that a patient in a medical facility isn’t getting the care they need. Medical professionals and nursing home staff members are trained to identify and treat pressure ulcers before they present a significant risk to patients. If you’ve noticed that a loved one has developed bedsores, speak to the person or people in charge of providing their care.
Have You Seen Bedsores on Your Loved One?
When you have a loved one living in a nursing home, look for visible bedsores when you visit. They could signal even greater problems of negligent treatment in the facility. You should also look for additional signs of neglect, such as malnutrition, dehydration, and poor hygiene.
If you have any experience with bedsores, you know how serious these injuries are. When your loved one begins showing signs of a pressure ulcer, it’s vital you make sure they get the care they require before the injury worsens.
Legal Options for Bed Sore Injuries Suffered in a Nursing Home
If you’re concerned about the health of a loved one in a nursing home, you have legal options available, including filing a compensation claim on their behalf. If you’re unsure whether you have a claim, you can contact a nursing home injury attorney to discuss the best path forward.
Contact Sawyer Law Firm Today
If you need a nursing home abuse lawyer in Alabama, contact attorney J.P. Sawyer. Sawyer Law Firm is known statewide as one of the leading nursing home injury advocates. We offer free consultations, so there’s no cost to reach out to us to discuss your case.
In our experience, bedsores are one of the most common reasons people contact an attorney about the care their loved one is receiving. These injuries are serious, and you’re within your right to consider the next steps to get your loved one better care and payment to cover the costs of past and future medical treatment. Let us assess your case to help you explore your legal options. Contact J.P. Sawyer today for a free case evaluation.