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“If you find a pressure ulcer that they have not notified you about, that is a big red flag.”
Bedsores, aka pressure ulcers, can occur in four different stages. A stage three or stage four bedsore/pressure ulcer is considered a “never event” in the medical community. In other words, if they happen, it is likely a sign of abuse or neglect.
Tad Thomas is an attorney with Thomas Law Offices based in Louisville, Kentucky. He opened the firm in 2011 and can assist clients in Louisville, Kentucky; Chicago, Illinois; and Cincinnati, Ohio. In this interview, he explains what to do if a loved one is experiencing bedsores in a nursing home. He also offers some red flags to watch for that could indicate nursing neglect or abuse.
To learn more, contact the attorney directly by calling 888-981-0031 or by submitting a contact form on this page. There is no charge for the consultation, and you never owe any out-of-pocket attorney fees.
A bedsore or pressure ulcer refers to damage to the skin and tissue below the skin. These can range from stage one which is a slight injury to stage four bed sores, which often reach all the way to the bone. These occur when someone lies in one place for too long, as is the case with some elderly or people with severe health conditions. These can also occur from malnutrition.
While stage one and stage two bedsores are not uncommon and can occur in a variety of situations, these are treatable with relative ease and are occasionally unavoidable. However, stage three and stage four bedsores are considered “never events”, which is a term used in the medical community to describe an event that should never happen under any circumstances.
This means if a loved one develops a stage three or four bedsore, it is likely that abuse or neglect is occurring in some form. Family of a loved one in a nursing home should always be informed of developing bedsores and other conditions which could affect a resident’s comfort and/or health.
Some states do not have any enforceable minimum staffing levels. Even in the states that do have minimum staffing requirements for long-term care facilities, experts point out that the minimum level is still far too few to provide the care that residents need.
Bedsores of all stages are common within long-term care facilities. While it is easy to blame the nurses, Thomas maintains that more often than not these bedsores come about as a result of improper staffing, or having too few certified nursing assistants (CNAs) on hand to help. CNAs are often assigned too many residents to attend to all their needs in a timely manner.
It is standard protocol for residents who cannot reposition themselves to be repositioned every two hours, but with so many residents and not enough staff, repositioning every resident in need in a timely manner becomes impossible.
If you are not receiving frequent contact and updates regarding your loved one’s condition within a nursing home, this could be a sign that neglect is at play. Nursing home staff are required to inform the point of contact for any resident, usually a family member, whenever they develop a new health condition like a bedsore or pressure ulcer.
If you discover a pressure ulcer on your loved one that you were not informed of, let the facility know and demand that your loved one receives proper treatment. It’s a good idea to stay in frequent contact with and get to know the staff who are responsible for caring for your loved one. Asking specific, detailed questions about your loved one’s condition can help identify a problem when it becomes, rather than discovering it on your own when it reaches stage three or four. If the problem continues or the facility seems unresponsive regarding the care of your loved one, contact a nursing home abuse attorney to protect your loved one from further harm.
To learn more, contact Tad Thomas directly by calling 888-981-0031 or by submitting a contact form on this page. There is no charge for the consultation, and you never owe any out-of-pocket attorney fees.
Disclaimer: This video is for informational purposes only. In some states, this video may be deemed Attorney Advertising. The choice of lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements.
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