At Harvey & Foote Law Firm, our experienced team is committed to holding nursing homes and other responsible parties accountable for neglect.
Many elderly adults who live in nursing homes have limited mobility, which puts them at a higher risk of developing bedsores, a type of wound that can lead to dangerous and even fatal health complications. Nursing home staff should be trained to prevent bedsores from developing and treat them when they do, and the nursing home should have enough staff to meet the needs of the residents. Unfortunately, not all facilities provide their residents with an acceptable level of care, resulting in avoidable tragic consequences.
If your loved one developed one or more bedsores while living in a nursing home, your family may be entitled to compensation, and our Albuquerque bedsore lawyers can help you build and pursue a claim. We have repeatedly taken on some of the worst offenders in New Mexico and are ready to put our hometown advantage to work for you.
If you notice a bedsore forming on your loved one, they may be a victim of nursing home neglect, and you should not wait to get legal advice. Schedule a free initial consultation by calling (505) 295-2245 or contacting us online. Se habla español.
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What Is a Bedsore?
A bedsore, which may also be referred to as a pressure sore, pressure injury, or a decubitus ulcer, is a wound that develops when blood is cut off to an area of the skin. Excess pressure in a particular area over an extended period of time can prevent blood from reaching the skin. This type of pressure can happen when someone sits or lies down in the same position for hours at a time without moving.
Bedsores will initially manifest as red or purple marks. If left untreated, a bedsore will worsen, breaking the skin and becoming an open wound. Eventually, a severe bedsore may deepen and expose bone, leaving the victim dangerously vulnerable to life-threatening infections.
How Abuse or Neglect Can Contribute to Bedsores in New Mexico Nursing Homes
Because many elderly adults need help moving and repositioning themselves, bedsores can frequently develop in nursing home settings, especially in residents who spend much or all of their time in beds or wheelchairs. Nursing home employees should be trained on how to avoid bedsores and treat them when they do appear.
An alarming number of nursing homes understaff their facilities and fail to adequately train employees, resulting in residents who develop bedsores from not getting the attention and care they need. An overworked and overwhelmed employee may not be able to regularly reposition a bedridden resident, for example, resulting in a pressure sore developing. Staff who have too many residents to care for are not able to detect a bedsore before it worsens, or get treatment for it until it is too late.
A responsible nursing home should be able to prevent bedsores from developing, especially if they are familiar with each resident’s individualized care plan and risk factors.
Because you cannot always count on the nursing home to properly care for your loved one, or adequately communicate your loved one’s status to you, you should always be aware of what a bedsore looks like (and where they are likely to appear) so that you can speak up and advocate for them.
How to Recognize a Bedsore
Catching a bedsore early and administering prompt treatment can reverse the damage and prevent more drastic health consequences. Because you cannot always count on the nursing home’s staff to properly care for your loved one, you should always be aware of what a bedsore looks like (and where they are likely to appear) so that you can speak up and advocate for them.
If your loved one uses a wheelchair, bedsores may occur on the skin near:
- Their shoulder blades
- Their spine
- Their tailbone
- Their buttocks
- The backs of their arms
- The backs of their legs
If your loved one is largely or entirely bedbound, watch out for bedsores on their skin near:
- Their shoulder blades
- Their hip
- Their tailbone
- Their lower back
- Their heels
- Their ankles
- The backsides of their knees
- The back or sides of their head
Symptoms of bedsores include:
- Red, purple, or black marks on the skin
- Tender areas of the skin that are painful when touched
- Areas of the skin that are warmer or colder than surrounding areas
- Pus leakage
- Bleeding from open wounds
Recovering Damages in a New Mexico Nursing Home Neglect Claim
Nursing homes are required by law to provide residents with an acceptable level of care. When they fail to live up to this responsibility by neglecting a resident to the point where they develop a pressure sore, the victim and their family may be able to get compensation for damages.
In addition to helping you formally report the suspected neglect to the appropriate parties, we can help you build and claim and represent you in legal action taken against the responsible parties. We try cases all the way and will make every effort to maximize what you recover.
Our Albuquerque bedsore lawyers will fight to get your family full and fair compensation for all losses, including:
- Past, current, and future medical bills
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
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