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Bedsore Lawsuits FAQ

Bedsore Lawsuits FAQ

It is not uncommon for a person who is bedridden for an extended period of time to develop bedsores. While bedsores can be prevented and treated with good medical care, in cases of negligence–where hospital staff does not provide the expected standard of care–bedsores can become serious, and in some cases deadly. Bedsores that seriously endanger a victim’s health may even be grounds for a lawsuit that requires a medical malpractice attorney in Northern New Jersey.
I’ll tell you more below about what to do if a health care provider’s negligence is the cause of bedsores and when it may be time to contact a lawyer.

What is a bedsore?

According to the Mayo Clinic, bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers, occur when the skin and the tissue below it are exposed to pressure over long periods of time. We often find bedsores near bony areas of the body like the tailbone, hips, or ankles. You are at higher risk for this condition if you suffer from a medical condition that keeps you in one position and prevents you from moving. For example, we often hear about bedsores among nursing home patients who are in bed for many hours of the day.
Most of the time, bedsores will heal with proper treatment, but in some cases, they can become large and infected, which puts victims in danger of serious infections, gangrene, and even death.

Can Bedsores be Prevented?

Bedsores can absolutely be prevented. Frequently changing your position while sitting or lying down can help reduce the level of pressure on the skin. Regularly eating and drinking, quitting smoking, and practicing proper hygiene and skin care can help. Stress reduction and regular exercise can also keep bedsores at bay.

If you or a loved one is confined to bed or even a chair, the best thing you can do to stave off bedsores is to change positions frequently. By shifting your weight at least every two hours, you will reduce your risk significantly. There are also specialized cushions, mattresses, and even wheelchairs designed to relieve pressure and put your body in a position where your skin will not receive too much pressure.

Are Bedsores Deadly?

Bedsores can range from relatively harmless to incredibly dangerous. Most bedsores are stage I and stage II pressure wounds. In these stages, where the sores have only damaged the top layer of skin cells (but not muscle or bone), they are highly treatable. Stage I bedsores are smaller–no larger than a quarter–and are surface-level, while a stage II bedsore has penetrated the skin but has not damaged the muscle.

Even a stage III bedsore, which has penetrated the deeper tissue and potentially fat, but has not yet affected bones or muscles, is treatable.
When we reach stage IV, this is when things get dangerous. At this stage, the wound extends to the bone and may be composed of dead tissue. Stage IV bedsores can take months to heal, or never heal at all, and may cause gangrene, severe infections, and death.

Who is Liable for Bedsores?

Sometimes bedsores happen regardless of how attentive a patient’s medical providers are. Other times, however, bedsores result because of negligent staff who fail to provide an acceptable standard of care. This often happens when a patient is not repositioned every couple of hours.

For example, nursing home neglect is not uncommon–and often results in patients developing serious wounds. Negligence is not limited only to elder care facilities: it can also happen in hospitals and short-term care facilities. If a patient is neglected, nurses, nurse’s aids, and even doctors can be held liable.

If you are unsure whether or not your or a relative’s conditions are the result of neglect by a healthcare provider, it may be worth getting in touch with a Northern New Jersey medical malpractice attorney at Buttafuoco & Associates. We can help you assess whether or not you have a case during a free consultation.

What are the Signs of a Negligent Nursing Home?

Many things can cause bedsores, and whether or not someone develops them often has to do with their condition, any underlying medical conditions, their age, and their overall health. However, if you notice that you or a loved one has multiple bedsores, or bedsores of a severe stage, this should raise a red flag.
If medical professionals begin to change their stories about how the bedsores occurred, this is not a good sign. Especially if you notice bedsores or other injuries that appear suddenly, it may be a case of neglect.

Can I Sue for Bedsores?

If you or a loved one is suffering from bedsores and believe a medical facility may be responsible, you may be entitled to financial compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and more. Likewise, if your loved one was a victim of wrongful death at the hands of healthcare providers, your family may be eligible for compensation. If you are concerned that a serious health situation may be due to negligence, get in touch with a medical malpractice lawyer serving Northern New Jersey as soon as possible.

Buttafuoco & Associates has been defending victims from medical malpractice for decades, and we may be able to help you, too.

Call today for a free consultation at 1-800-NOW-HURT.


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