Pressure sores are one of the most dangerous conditions that could occur in nursing homes.
They are also one of the most preventable conditions that a resident could suffer from.
Also known as pressure ulcers or bedsores, pressure sores are considered to be “never events” meaning that they should never occur in nursing home staff render proper medical care and treatment.
Unfortunately, many nursing homes are understaff, untrained, and fail to exercise the proper degree of care and treatment that residents need.
This allows residents to develop pressure sores
, and those pressure sores to develop into larger infections, cause extensive damage, and turn septic which could result in the wrongful death of a resident.
Anytime a resident has developed a pressure sore, victims and their families should ask our Oregon pressure sores lawyers whether there has been nursing home negligence or malpractice causing that injury.
Victims who have been injured from negligently-caused pressure sores may be entitled to damages under Oregon law.
Damages are typically compensatory in nature, meaning that they involve monetary compensation.
Some of the most common damages that a victim and his or her family may be entitled to include the following:
Understanding Pressure Sores
- Past pain and suffering;
- Future pain and suffering due to the injury;
- Medical bills, including nursing home expenses;
- Future surgeries;
- Loss of consortium (affection, relationship, services, and dependency);
- Emotional distress;
- Funeral and burial expenses in wrongful death cases;
- Punitive damages in rare instances; and
- Other damages related to the nursing home negligence.
Pressure sores are damage to bodily tissue due to pressure, friction, and contact with that area of the body for a prolonged period of time.
The pressure, friction, and contact causes the skin and tissue to breakdown and sustain damage.
Mechanisms such as the springs in a bed, metal structure of a wheelchair or bed, leather of a wheelchair, or other apparatus on, under, or in a bed or wheelchair could exert this pressure and friction on a person.
When the person does not move for long periods of time and the pressure remains on the same area, the body cannot tolerate it and that is when the tissue breakdown begins.
Usually the skin is the first bodily tissue that breaks down.
It starts with some redness and swelling, and then can extend to blistering, cuts in the tissue, and oozing.
More serious instances of pressure sores
will result in open holes and damage to the tissue.
Given the mechanism of injury, residents of nursing homes who are bedridden or wheelchair bound are most likely to develop pressure sores.
Residents who also have some cognitive dysfunction may also suffer pressure sores as they may be unable to move or recognize the need to move or adjust their body weight on a bed. Generally, residents who have some ambulatory disability will usually be at risk for pressure sores.
Stages of a Pressure Sore
Our Oregon pressure sores lawyers know that pressure sores are broken into four classifications.
These four stages are broken down by the severity of the pressure sore, with stage one being the most mild and stage four being the most catastrophic.
All four stages carry a risk of infection, which increases with the stage level.
The four stages of pressure sores are the following:
Bend/Portland, Oregon Pressure Sores Lawyers
- Stage 1 – Damage to the outer layer of skin resulting in redness, burning, and pain.
- Stage 2 – Damage to the next layer of skin resulting in bleeding, swelling, oozing, blisters, and similar damage to the skin. The risk of infection increases because the skin has been broken.
- Stage 3 – Damage extending to the fatty layer of tissue which significantly increases the risk of infection and is a medical emergency. Damages includes bleeding, oozing, puss, and tissue death (necrotic).
- Stage 4 – Damage extends to the muscle layer and even to bone, which carries a very high probability of infection which is usually already present. This is a life-threatening emergency. Catastrophic damage to tissue due to necrosis is common, including damage to muscle, tendons, ligaments, bones, nerves, and blood vessels. Permanent damage is likely and the risk for sepsis is increased dramatically which could result in amputation.
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of nursing home abuse or neglect contact the Oregon Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers at Kuhlman Law
at our number below or fill out the intake form. We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover
We handle cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton, and Hillsboro.
We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take Nursing Home Abuse cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.
Please act quickly, there is a limited time (Statute of Limitations) in which you can bring a claim under the law