Columbia Bedsores &Pressure Sores Lawyer
Bedsores are a common injury caused during prolonged hospital stays or immobilization within nursing homes. They form when the patient, who is not able to move themselves, is not adjusted regularly to relieve the pressure placed on their skin. While minor bedsores are sometimes unavoidable, especially in elderly or very sick patients during long hospital stays, medical professionals have a duty to do everything they can to prevent more serious bedsores from forming or becoming infected. If you or your loved one unnecessarily suffered at the hospital because of poor nursing care, which led to bedsores, the Columbus bedsore lawyers at Simmons Law Firm can help.
What is a Bedsore?
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, bedsores are caused when a patient sits in a wheelchair or bed for a prolonged time without relief to a particular area on their body. The unrelenting pressure placed on the skin causes an ulcer. Bedsores, which are also called pressure sores, form due to lack of blood flow to the skin, and they can form in as little as two hours if blood flow from pressure is cut off. While a bedsore may, at first, simply appear as a red blotch on the skin that has mild pain or irritation, if it is left untreated it can develop into a much more serious condition. Once infected, the bedsore may turn purple, the skin will break open, and the impacted area can spread to the muscle and bone underneath. Serious bedsores take months or years to heal, and may leave permanent scarring. If the bedsores become seriously infected and antibiotics are not started quickly enough, the patient’s life can become endangered.
Stages of Bedsores
- Stage 1—The skin is red and feels warm to the touch. The patient may feel a burning, painful, or itching sensation.
- Stage 2—The skin appears damaged. It may have an open sore or blister. The patient will generally feel significant pain, and the wound may become discolored.
- Stage 3—The bedsore takes on a crater-shape due to tissue damage beneath the surface of the skin.
- Stage 4— Muscles, tendons, and bones begin to take on damage. Infection during Stage 4 is a serious risk.
Bedsores are Preventable
Bedsores are common among ICU patients, patients recovering from surgery, elderly patients, and those who are immobile due to serious injury or illness. Among nursing home residents, one study found that up to 28 percent of patients had bedsores, according to the CDC. However, hospitals have a duty of care to prevent bedsores when possible, and to treat Stage 1 and Stage 2 bedsores before they become worse, and progress onto the more dangerous stages. Prevention may include regularly rotating the patient from their back to their side, helping the patient get up and sit in a chair, and keeping the patient clean with regular washing. Intervention methods hospital staff should take to prevent bedsores from growing worse include cleaning the wounds and administering medication if necessary. If these measures have not been taken, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the hospital.
Contact a Columbia Bedsore Attorney
If you or your loved one suffered from bedsores that were preventable had the hospital given you proper treatment, we urge you to take action. Call Simmons Law Firm today at 803-779-4600 to schedule a consultation with our Columbia bedsore attorneys today.