Sarasota Bedsore Attorneys
The discovery of a pressure sore on a loved one in a Sarasota hospital, nursing home or assisted living facility is more than just a health issue; it is evidence of neglect by the facility. A pressure sore (also known as a bedsore or decubitus ulcer) is a sign that a patient is not receiving medical attention needed and may be in a facility that is a threat to their health.
The Fernandez Firm has been helping those injured in hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living facilities for nearly 25 years. We recognize that bedbound patients at these facilities may be at risk for developing pressure sores and make it our priority to hold those who cause needless pain, suffering and harm responsible for the resulting damages.
Over the years, we have won over $90 million in settlements and verdicts for our injured clients. This success is the result of a hard-working and experienced team of lawyers, investigators, staff and experts. If you have legal questions and need experienced Sarasota pressure sore attorneys, contact our office today at 1-800-222-8163.
What are Pressure Sores?
A pressure sore (also referred to as a pressure ulcer, bedsore or decubitus ulcer) is an injury to skin and underlying tissue caused by prolonged pressure on the skin. These injuries frequently develop on skin over bony areas of the body, such as the heels, ankles, hips and tailbone.
Individuals who have difficulty changing their positions while sitting or lying down, especially those who spend most of their time in a bed or chair — such as hospital patients, nursing home and assisted living residents — are at the greatest risk of developing bedsores. Other risk factors include:
- Neurological conditions causing a lack of sensory perception making it difficult for a patient to feel the need to move due to pressure-related pain or discomfort;
- Skin which is frequently exposed to moisture such as perspiration, urine or diarrhea;
- Patients who are regularly confined to bed and limited in the ability to walk;
- Patients who are limited in their ability to turn or change positions without assistance; and
- Poor nutrition and poor hydration.
Pressure sores can develop quickly and, if ignored, or not properly treated, infection can develop which may be fatal to a patient. Warning signs for the development of pressure sores include:
- Unusual changes in skin color or texture;
- Draining pus or fluid;
- An area of skin that is cooler or warmer to the touch than other areas; and,
- The area is painful.
Stages of Pressure Sores
Pressure ulcers are classified into four separate stages:
- Stage 1: The area may be painful, but there are no breaks or tears in the skin. The skin may appear dark or red and does not lose color if you press, and then remove, your finger. If the patient is dark-skinned the area may be a different color than the surrounding skin, but it may not look red. The area is often warmer and feels firmer or softer than the area surrounding it.
- Stage 2: The skin is open or forms a shallow ulcer, which is normally painful, and involves deeper layers of skin. It may appear like a scrape, blister or a shallow crater. It may look like a blister filled with clear fluid.
- Stage 3: The sore extends into tissue beneath the skin, creating a small crater. Fat may appear in the sore, but bone, tendon or muscle are not exposed. Slough may be present.
- Stage 4: The injury is very deep, exposing bone, tendon or muscle. It causes extensive damage, possibly including harm to deeper tissues, tendons and joints.
In stages three and four, the patient may feel little or no pain, due to significant tissue damage. Serious complications, including infections of the bone (osteomyelitis) or blood (sepsis) may occur when pressure sores progress to stages three and four.
IMPT: Photographing Pressure Sores
If your loved one has developed a pressure sore, it is very important that you photograph the wound regularly, dating all photos. In the past, most health care providers regularly measured, charted and photographed these sore to determine if the treatment being provided was beneficial. Today, many hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living facilities do not document the size, stage or severity of bedsore in order to avoid legal liability. Pressure sores are avoidable injuries which typically do not occur in the absence of medical negligence. Photographing the wound will help you to determine if the treatment is working and will be critical to the case if you decide to pursue legal action.
Sarasota Pressure Sore – Call Today!
If you have questions regarding pressure sores, hospital negligence, nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse, contact our Sarasota pressure sore injury attorneys today at 1-800-222-8163.
Our experienced team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to discuss your legal options and the consultation is free. At the Fernandez Firm, we do not get paid unless you win.