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Award Winning Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyers Hold Healthcare Workers Responsible for Bed Sore & Pressure Ulcer Injuries in Camden County, Burlington County, Gloucester County and Across South Jersey
The elderly, particularly those with mobility issues, are at significant risk for developing bed sores, also known as pressure ulcers. As a result, part of the duties of healthcare workers who treat elderly patients with mobility issues is to ensure that their patients move around frequently and aren’t confined to the same position in a bed or chair or wheelchair for extended periods of time and to make certain that their patients receive proper hydration and nutrition. When healthcare workers abuse and neglect their nursing home and elderly patients, pressure ulcers are often one of the injuries that those helpless victims suffer.
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The nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers of Andres & Berger, P.C. understand that, all too often, elderly patients with mobility issues and other health problems can fall through the cracks of the nursing home system and be the most likely to suffer from abuse and neglect. When healthcare workers forget and fail to check on the patients who need the most care and attention, those patients often suffer from bed sores and pressure ulcers after being left in their beds, chairs, or wheelchairs for far too long. Moreover, those same patients also often suffer from dehydration and malnutrition, increasing the risk of bed sores. If you or a loved one have developed bed sores or pressure ulcers due to the abuse or neglect of nursing home or other healthcare workers, you need an experienced New Jersey attorney who will fight to get you and your family the compensation and justice you deserve. The nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers of Andres & Berger will put their decades of legal experience to work pursuing your claim for compensation. Our award-winning attorneys have a proven track record of success obtaining favorable outcomes for our clients.
What Are Bed Sores and Pressure Ulcers?
Bed sores, also known as pressure ulcers and decubitus ulcers, are wounds to the skin and the tissue underneath that are caused by prolonged pressure on the skin, most often on bony areas of the body, such as the heels, ankles, hips, tailbone, shoulder blades, spine, elbows, and back of the skull. The symptoms of a developing pressure ulcer include:
- Unusual skin coloring or texture
- Pus or fluid
- Skin feeling cooler or warmer to the touch than other areas of the skin
- Skin tenderness
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Pressure ulcers are classified into one of several stages depending on their depth, severity, and other characteristics, ranging from red, unbroken skin to a deep tissue injury reaching the muscle or bone:
- Stage One: The mildest stage, characterized by symptoms of pain, burning, itching, and different tenderness or temperature of a spot on the skin compared to the surrounding skin.
- Stage Two: Characterized by broken skin leaving an open wound or fluid-filled blister.
- Stage Three: Characterized by a wound that has reached fatty tissue; symptoms include a crater-like appearance to the wound, which may have a bad odor and drainage of fluid. The tissue in and around the wound may be red or even black if the tissue has died.
- Stage Four: The most severe stage, characterized by a wound that has reached soft tissues; the skin will show signs of infection such as turning black, draining fluid, and bad odor. Muscle, bone, and other soft tissues may be visible in the wound.
How Are Bed Sores and Pressure Ulcers Caused?
Bed sores are caused by pressure against the skin that limits blood flow, usually around bony protrusions near the surface of the skin. People who suffer pressure ulcers are often those who have limited mobility and are confined to beds or wheelchairs. In addition to pressure, bed sores are also caused by friction against the skin, usually the result of clothing or bedding rubbing up against the skin.
Risk factors for bed sores include:
- Lack of mobility: Failure to move around and frequently relieve pressure off areas of the skin begins the process of forming a pressure ulcer
- Inability to feel pain or discomfort: Paralysis or other conditions may leave people unable to feel the pain or discomfort of a developing pressure ulcer
- Lack of hydration and proper nutrition: Failure to consume the required amount of fluids and nutrients leads to the breakdown of the skin and other tissues
- Underlying blood flow issues: Conditions such as vascular disease or diabetes can cause blood flow issues that speed up the process of pressure ulcer formation
Pressure ulcers, especially when left untreated for long periods of time, can lead to even more serious complications such as infections of bones and joints, cancer, and sepsis.
The Award Winning Lawyers of Andres & Berger, P.C. Will Help Pursue Your or Your Loved One’s Bed Sore & Pressure Ulcer Case in Camden, Cherry Hill, Pennsauken, Marlton, and Voorhees, NJ and Throughout South Jersey
Proving that the negligence or intentional abuse of healthcare or nursing home workers were responsible for your or your loved one’s bed sores or pressure ulcers can be a difficult task; the skill of an experienced nursing home abuse and neglect attorney can be an especially valuable asset in pursuing a claim for bed sores or pressure ulcers. The Haddonfield attorneys of Andres & Berger, P.C. will undertake a complete investigation of your case to determine whether your or your loved one’s bed sores resulted from negligence or intentional abuse and identify who is responsible for that neglect or abuse.
Contact us today for a consultation to discuss your legal options if you or a loved one have suffered bed sores while in a nursing home or other healthcare facility. We handle nursing home abuse and neglect cases.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bed Sores & Pressure Ulcers
At a minimum, the healthcare professionals responsible for your care may be held liable for your injuries. These individuals may include physicians, but more often include the nurses and orderlies who are responsible for monitoring a patient’s or resident’s condition, and when a patient or resident has mobility issues, ensuring that the patient or resident is moved around to avoid the formation of pressure ulcers. You may also be entitled to hold the nursing home or healthcare facility responsible for your injury, either as the employer under a legal theory called respondeat superior, or under a claim for negligent hiring, training, or supervision.
You may be entitled to recover the medical expenses you incur to treat your pressure ulcers, including hospital stays, doctor’s visits, surgery, and medication. You may also be entitled to recover damages for your pain and suffering caused by your injuries. Finally, in rare cases where the responsible parties’ conduct is especially cruel or wanton, you might be entitled to claim punitive damages as a means of punishing the responsible parties for reprehensible conduct