Clearwater Bedsore Attorneys
If your loved one has been bedridden in a Clearwater hospital, nursing home or assisted living facility for an extended period of time they may be at risk for developing bedsores. Bed sores commonly form when a patient is not turned or repositioned regularly by nursing staff leading to avoidable skin breakdown. These wounds are often a sign that a vulnerable patient is suffering from neglect by the facility’s staff and can become life threatening if not treated quickly and appropriately by trained medical providers.
For nearly 25 years, our Clearwater bedsore attorneys have been representing patients who have suffered these pressure injuries due to negligent nurses and medical staff. At the Fernandez Firm, our attorneys have over $90 million in settlements and verdicts and prosecute these types of medical malpractice cases every day. We hold staff and management accountable for the neglect inflicted upon patients being treated in these facilities obtaining the compensation they deserve for their injuries. Our attorneys have significant expertise in this specialized field to immediate evaluate your pressure sore case and advise you accordingly.
To learn how we can help, please contact us today at 1-800-222-8163.
Experienced Pressure Sore Injury Lawyers
While hiring a lawyer may not be your first priority when a loved one is injured, bedsores are avoidable conditions which, if left untreated can deteriorate rapidly and become life-threatening. Well known complications include
- Infections that penetrate into joints and bones. Joint infections (septic arthritis) can damage cartilage and other tissue. Bone infections (osteomyelitis) can impair the function of joints and limbs.
- Sepsis, a potentially lethal infection, which affects the whole body and may lead to death.
- Non-healing wounds.
What is a Bedsore?
A bedsore, also known as a pressure sore, pressure ulcer or decubitus ulcer, is an area of injured skin and underlying tissue caused by pressure in one area. These sores typically develop where bones are in close proximity to the skin such as on the tailbone, the buttocks, hips, ankles and heels. These sores can afflict patients with limited or no mobility, who must rely on nurses or aids to move or reposition. Bedsores are classified into four stages:
- Stage I: Intact skin which appears red even when pressure is removed.
- Stage II: Broken skin appearing like a shallow open sore with a pink wound bed.
- Stage III: Broken skin with a deeper ulcer into the body fat but muscle, tendon and bone are not exposed. These sores may look like an open crater, they may appear infected and have an odor. Surrounding tissue in or around the open wound may be black.
- Stage IV: The wound is deep and large with tendons, muscles and bones visible. The skin has turned black and appears infected.
IMPT: Photograph All Bedsores
Years ago, most medical facilities measured and photographed their patient’s bedsores each week to determine if the wounds were improving. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case and often hospitals and nursing homes intentionally do not document the size, stage or severity of these injures to avoid responsibility. Thus, if you or your loved one is suffering from pressure or bedsore, it is critical you consult with an attorney who regularly handles these types of cases in Clearwater. It is also extremely important you photograph these sores weekly (or immediately hire a law firm who can assist you) and make sure your family member is being turned and repositioned at least every 2 hours — AT A MINIMUM.
What Causes Bed Sores?
There is a higher risk of developing a pressure ulcer if you are bedridden or use a wheelchair and have difficultly moving or changing position without assistance. Other common risk factors include,
- External Pressure. Over areas of the body where bony prominences can resulted in restricted blood flow to the skin.
- Friction. Develops when a patient is pulled or moved over bed sheets or moves up and down in bed or is transferred from a stretcher.
- Sheer. Occurs when a patient’s skin sticks to their bedsheets as they are pulled or moved. The skin is injured when it separates from the underlying tissues.
- Moisture. Urine, sweat, feces and acidic diarrhea can cause skin deterioration and damage.
The “Braden Scale” is available online and generally used by most healthcare providers to evaluate a patient risk for developing pressure and bedsores.
Best Way to Prevent Bedsores
Pressure sores can be treated a variety of ways, some of which include the following:
- Keep the skin clean and dry,
- Change positions at lease every two hours, and,
- Use wedges, pillows and specialty boots to relieve pressure on at risk body parts.
The type of treatment depends on the stage and seriousness of the wound. Advanced sores are slow to heal and thus early treatment is critical. Please contact our office should you have questions regarding you or a loved one’s pressure sore injury. The consultation is free.
Bedsore Questions – Call Today!
If you or a loved one has questions regarding a bedsore or pressure sore injury in Clearwater, our attorneys and experienced team of paralegals and investigators is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to discuss your case.
Please call our office today at 1-800-222-8163 or, for an immediate response submit a free online case evaluation.