Ohio Nursing Home Lawyer: Cincinnati Nursing Home Neglect and Hospital Negligence Contributes to Bedsores & Skin Infections
Bedsores, also known as pressure sores, pressure ulcers, and skin lesions can be very painful and lead to more serious health problems if not treated promptly. Nursing home staff are well aware that patients confined to beds need to be turned regularly to reduce the risk of developing ulcers. However, when nursing homes are understaffed or fail to properly attend to residents, patients suffer the consequences.
Bedsores, also called decubitus ulcers, are injuries to skin and underlying tissue from prolonged skin pressure. Bedsores commonly develop on bony areas of the body, such as the heels, ankles, hips and tailbone.
People most at risk of bedsores have medical conditions that limit their ability to change positions on their own. Bedsores can develop quickly. Most sores heal with treatment, but some are more severe and lead to serious infections.
Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Ohio nursing home lawyer and personal injury attorney with experience in injuries and deaths due to nursing home neglect. Mr. Lyon has represented plaintiffs nationwide in a wide variety of medical negligence, wrongful death and injury claims.
Common Contributing Factors for Bedsores
- Pressure—bedsores are caused by pressure against the skin that limits blood flow to the skin. Blood flow is essential to delivering oxygen and nutrients to tissue.
- Friction—skin rubbing against clothing or bedding makes skin more vulnerable to injury.
- Overmedicated patients
- Understaffing at nursing homes
- Lack of sensory perception
- Nursing home neglect
- Medical conditions affecting blood flow—diabetes and vascular disease
Signs & Symptoms of Bedsores
Bedsores, also called decubitus ulcers, pressure ulcers and pressure sores, represent a serious health care concern at many medical facilities, especially nursing homes. Most pressure sores are preventable and treatable, however Cincinnati nursing home neglect may cause long-term injuries and even deaths.
Bedsores are categorized into four stages, based on their depth, severity and other characteristics. They include:
- Stage I—a persistent redness, swelling and tenderness on a patient’s skin.
- Stage II—a loss of some of skin thickness. Appears as a blister, abrasion or shallow crater.
- Stage III—damage to the full thickness of the skin. A deep lesion or crater is present.
- Stage IV—a complete loss of the skin. Muscle or bone is exposed.
A bedsore can advance quickly when patients do not receive proper treatment and care in a nursing home or assisted living center. There are various factors associated with developing bedsores, though most involve neglect, understaffing, overmedicating, a lack of nutritional care and patient immobility.
Common Sites of Pressure Sores
- Tailbone & Buttocks
- Shoulder blades
- Backs of arms & legs
- Back or sides of the head
- Lower back
- Heels & ankles
- Behind the knees
Serious Complications of Bedsores & Skin Infections
- Cellulitis—an infection of the skin and connected soft tissues.
- Bone and joint infections—Infections from pressure sores can pass into joints and bones, damaging cartilage and tissue. Bone infections may reduce the function of joints and limbs.
- Cancer—long-term, unhealed wounds can develop into a type of squamous cell carcinoma
Legal Action: Cincinnati Nursing Home Neglect Settlements
The elderly population in nursing homes and assisted living facilities around Ohio frequently suffer injuries like bedsores due to understaffing and neglect. Some underlying issues that lead to dangerous skin ulcers include improper medication, a lack of supervision, malnutrition, inadequate wound care, and a delay in sending patients to medical centers and hospitals.
These severe injuries are almost always preventable, and nursing homes have a duty to ensure that residents are kept safe and as healthy as possible. Nursing home neglect may lead to severe infection, amputations, and death. Nursing homes and long-term care facilities in Ohio operated by Genesis, Laurel healthcare or ManorCare can be held liable for injuries that affect you or your family.
If a loved one has suffered an injury at an Ohio nursing home due to bedsores, and have questions about the legal remedies available to improve quality of life and medical care in Ohio, contact The Lyon Firm at (800) 513-2403. You will speak directly with Mr. Lyon, and he will help you answer critical questions regarding Cincinnati nursing home neglect.