Protecting the Rights of Neglected Patients

Bedsores, otherwise known as decubitus ulcers or pressure sores, are painful open flesh wounds, which are caused by lying or sitting in the same position for too long. A combination of a person’s body weight and a lack of blood circulation cause sores to develop in different areas such as on the lower back, buttocks, hips, and thighs. These wounds are highly susceptible to infection if not treated and if left untreated can become fatal, especially for elderly patients and those with health issues and compromised immune systems. Our Jacksonville bed sore attorneys will hold caregivers accountable for their negligence.

Bedsores Are Common

In the United States, more than 150,000 patients and nursing home residents experience the pain of bedsores every year. Studies have shown that 26% of patients in nursing homes have reported bedsores of varying levels during their care. The number of hospital patients with pressure sores rose by 63% from 1993-2003, with 9% of patients who are admitted to hospital suffering from bed sores within 2 weeks of admission.

Stage 1: A stage 1 bedsore refers to a newly developed bedsore where the skin becomes red and may also have a blue/purple coloring present. Patients may experience pain and/or a burning or itching sensation.

Stage 2: Stage 2 sores are much more painful as the bedsore becomes open, typically appearing similar to a cut or a blister on the skin.

Stage 3: When categorized as stage 3, bedsores are much more severe and appear almost crater-like on the skin with tissue damage occurring that is much deeper than skin level.

Stage 4: In many cases, at stage 4, muscle, bone or tendons may be visible as the wound will have expanded and become much deeper. At this stage, infection is a real risk and the bedsore can quickly become life-threatening if not treated immediately.
It’s crucial both residents and patients in care are looked after properly to ensure that bedsores don’t develop. Older adults should be turned every 2-3 hours to prevent ulcers from developing. In fact, a landmark nursing study resulted in the gold standard of turning patients every two hours.

The Impact Of Bed Sores On Mortality Rates

Bedsores have a significant impact on the mortality rate in patients admitted to hospital and nursing care facilities. Studies have shown that of 3,000 people who were admitted to hospital with a pressure sore, 16.7% developed at least one new sore. It was found that patients with a bedsore were 2.8 times more likely to die in hospital. The studies also showed that the mortality rate of patients with a bedsore was vastly increased compared with a patient without a bedsore at a rate of 9.1% to 1.8%.

Who Is Liable When A Resident Develops Bedsores?

In Florida, there have been many cases where nursing homes and caregivers have been held liable due to negligence. Bedsores are easily preventable if the correct steps are taken and appropriate care is provided by the caregivers. Failure to do so can result in legal action being taken by the patient or the family and those responsible being held accountable.

If your loved ones have suffered from bedsores while in the care of a nursing home or during a hospital stay, it’s very possible that neglect was the cause. Get in touch with  the Jacksonville bed sore attorneys at Edwards & Ragatz today and let us for a free case review and consultation