Nursing Home Abuse – Stage III Bedsores

new jersey philadelphia nursing home abuse lawyers explain bedsores stage IIIThis post is the third in a series of posts dealing with the most common form of nursing home abuse – the development of pressure ulcers and bedsores. In our previous two posts, we discussed the nursing home abuse that can lead to a Stage I bedsore followed by a Stage II bedsore. Hopefully, that nursing home abuse information was helpful to any person or family who has had a loved one suffer from a pressure ulcer or a bedsore caused by nursing home neglect. Sadly, Stage I and Stage II ulcers are not the most common types of nursing home abuse cases we handle as a New Jersey and Philadelphia nursing home abuse lawfirm. We typically deal with cases involving Stage III and Stage IV – the most serious and life-threatening pressure ulcers.

Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Represent Victims of Stage III Bedsores

According to the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP), a Stage III pressure ulcer or bedsore is defined as:

Full thickness tissue loss. Subcutaneous fat may be visible but bone, tendon or muscle are not exposed. Slough may be present but does not obscure the depth of the tissue loss. May include undermining and tunneling.

As we detailed in our previous posts, prevention is always the best medicine. All nursing home staff should be trained and experienced in selecting an appropriate support surface to help with redistribution, sheer reduction, and microclimate control. Typically, nursing home abuse consists of the failure of untrained, overworked, and underpaid nursing home staff to meet their legal obligations to properly perform skin assessment, and properly turn and reposition patients who are at a risk for development of pressure ulcers and bedsores. Sadly, some studies suggest that nearly 30% of all nursing home residents have a form of bedsore. When a nursing home abuse case involves a patient with a Stage III ulcer, it is always a serious medical problem, and is usually a clear sign of nursing home neglect.

Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers in New Jersey and Philadelphia

A Stage III pressure ulcer is a serious medical condition which, if not properly treated, could lead to a life-threatening Stage IV ulcer. In addition, if not properly treated, a Stage III pressure ulcer could become infected, and a nursing home patient could be at serious risk of systemic infection which can lead to wrongful death.
If you or a family member have been in a nursing home or an assisted care facility and have developed a Stage III bedsore, you should immediately contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation. You may also call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.

Let the Mininno Law Office team earn you the compensation you need a deserve.

Nursing Home Alert – Watch Out for Pressure Sores

People who lay or sit in one position for long periods are at risk of developing pressure sores, also known as bedsores or decubitus ulcers. Nursing home residents are more likely to be confined to beds or chairs for long periods of time, and therefore more susceptible to developing pressure sores.

Bedsores or pressure sores occur when pressure on the skin shuts off blood vessels, depriving skin tissue of oxygen and nutrients. Most of us associate this feeling with “pins and needles” or “my leg fell asleep.” For most of us, shifting our weight or body position quickly gets us the feeling back in the affected body part. For nursing home residents, this is not always something they can do on their own. Good or proper nursing care is needed to identify and treat these issues for many nursing home residents. Bad or inattentive care can likewise lead to the development of these dangerous pressure sores.

If proper care is not given, large, deep sores can develop, sometimes exposing the muscle or bone below the skin. Untreated pressure sores can lead to infection, severe pain and death. This is especially true because incontinent residents often develop these open pressure sores in the sacral area of the low back. When a resident cannot control their bowel function, and they have a sacral pressure ulcer, infections such as E. Coli and MRSA often develop with easy entry in to the resident’s blood stream.

Generally, pressure sores can be prevented with proper care. Federal law requires nursing homes must make sure that residents entering the facility do not develop pressure sores; and that residents who have them are given treatment to promote healing and prevent infection. To prevent pressure sores, nursing homes must keep a resident’s skin clean and dry, maintain good nutrition and keep pressure off of vulnerable parts of the body. Changing the resident’s position as often as necessary relieves pressure. Good nursing practice usually dictates “turning and repositioning” the resident at least every two hours. Pressure relieving devices, such as pads and special mattresses, can also help when used timely and properly.

A nursing home must notify the resident’s physician immediately if he or she develops a pressure sore. Lack of communication is the biggest complaint I hear from family members. The nursing home has an obligation to communicate with the resident’s family about changes in their condition, as well as with the resident’s primary care physician. Nursing homes are often slow to notify the family or the physician when a pressure sore is developing in the early stages.

Considering that pressure sores can be so dangerous, even deadly, it is unclear why nursing homes are slow to communicate their existence early in the process. The nursing home resident has a much better chance for the pressure sore to heal if the wound is identified early, and a treatment plan is established. The longer the delay, the worse the wound gets; and the harder it is to treat.

It is unfortunate that good nursing care for pressure sores in a nursing home setting often takes a back seat to a culture of overworked caregivers. These staff members know what to do, but often don’t have enough time to do it due to a chronic culture in the nursing home industry of understaffing.

If you have a loved one in a nursing home, here are some things you can do to protect them from debilitating pressure sores:

1. Inspect their bodies for wounds or blemishes.
2. Ask to see body parts that are covered with bandages.
3. Ask if your loved one needs a turning and repositioning schedule.
4. Ask the nursing home if they maintain logs documenting that the care was provided.

Immediately contact your loved one’s primary care physician if you suspect your loved one has developed a pressure sore to be sure the wound is properly indentified, and that an appropriate care plan is immediately instituted.

Nursing Home Abuse in NJ or PA: Mininno Law Office

The NJ and PA nursing home abuse attorneys at the Mininno Law Office are dedicated to eradicating the disturbing trends of abuse and neglect in our nations nursing homes and long term care facilities.
Contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation. You may also call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, and (215) 567-2380 in Philadephia.