New York Nursing Home Injury and Bedsores, Pressure Sores, Decubitus Ulcer Lawyers
Unbeknownst to many victims and their family members, bedsores are not simply “unavoidable” medical conditions naturally occurring in bedridden patients. Although most people feel these potentially serious injuries just “happen”, that is far from the truth. Bedsores, which are also known as pressure sores, pressure ulcers, or decubitus ulcers, can often be prevented, treated and many times, cured if proper medical protocol (e.g., dry sheets, turning of patient, medication, nutrition, etc.) is followed by the facility. A failure to follow such protocol can result in terrible suffering, scarring, amputation and even death. Failure to follow such protocol is negligence and a violation of state and federal laws enacted specifically to protect vulnerable nursing home residents from careless or abusive actions by facility staff.
If you have placed your trust in a nursing home to care for your loved one, he or she is entitled to the highest quality of care as established by the law and by standards of basic human decency. When nursing homes fail to follow the law or to meet those standards, we will aggressively represent you in holding the facility, its ownership and its staff accountable for their actions. Your decision to proceed will not only give your loved one an opportunity to be compensated for his or her pain and suffering, but may also prompt the facility to undertake preventative measures to protect other patients from incurring similar injuries in the future.
Bedsore Prevention Programs
A recent survey indicated that 14% of the high-risk patients among the 117,000 New York State nursing home residents suffered from bedsores. According to a study reported by the New York Department of Health, nursing homes in New York State received only a rating of 1 star (on a scale of 1 to 5) nationally based upon the number of such patients suffering bedsores in New York nursing homes. Successful prevention and treatment of bedsores requires a program that should be in place in all nursing homes. Unfortunately, due to understaffing, the hiring of inexperienced help, poor training and other reasons, these programs are not always in place or if in place, are not followed diligently.
None of these reasons are acceptable if these facilities wish to continue to promote themselves as capable of properly caring for our loved ones in their senior years. Bedridden patients should be routinely moved. They should also be provided dry sheets and a cushion with pressure relief components. This is particularly true for residents of nursing homes who are paralyzed. In addition, nutrition should be scrupulously monitored as diet plays a role in the prevention and healing of bedsores as well. Those and other simple, yet vital, steps can often prevent the onset of potentially serious and fatal bedsores, or help cure them if they appear.
Severity of Bedsores and the Potential for Death
There are four stages of bedsores. A stage IV bedsore is the deepest and most serious stage. This sore extends from the skin and soft tissue into the muscle, tendon or bone. Someone suffering from a stage IV bedsore requires immediate medical attention by a doctor, nurse or other qualified nursing home professional, due to the extreme seriousness of the injury. Stage III bedsores, while generally not life-threatening, are still very serious injuries that extend into the subcutaneous tissue layer under the skin, inhibiting the blood supply.
A Stage II bedsore is an open wound that looks like a bruise or blister. Some of the skin has worn away and the area around the sore is discolored. Stage II bedsores typically heal quickly, if there is medical attention. A Stage I bedsore is an area of red, irritated skin that may hurt to the touch. Stage I bedsores go away once a person is moved, but can develop into more serious bedsores if nothing is done. Bedsores at any stage can be serious due to their potential to progress if not treated expeditiously and correctly.
Holding Nursing Homes Accountable
At the Ellis Law, we believe that neglect in a nursing home can be just as damaging as outright abuse. Bedsores, also known by the terms pressure sores, pressure ulcers, and decubitus ulcers, are serious, sometimes devastating and disfiguring injuries. In order to avoid bedsores, a nursing home must exercise extra care for patients confined to their beds.
If you decide to retain Ellis Law to seek compensation for you or your loved one, we will obtain nursing home and medical records and conduct a thorough analysis into the cause of the bedsore and assess the propriety of the treatment rendered. We will retain nursing and other medical experts as needed and will advise you as to the merits of your claim. If our investigation reveals a violation of law, negligence or abuse, we will fight aggressively against the facility and its insurance company to obtain just compensation for your loved one and in doing so, hopefully trigger reforms that will protect other patients. Our goal is to take all of the legal worries away from you so that you can focus on the continued care and recovery of your loved one.
The personal injury attorneys at Ellis Law and our nursing home litigation co-counsel have extensive experience in handling personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout the New York State. We fully recognize the severity and potential for death when a pressure sore is caused and improperly treated through the negligence of nursing home staff. We balance our aggressive approach toward nursing homes and their insurance companies with a caring and compassionate approach toward you and your family member who has borne the indignity and terrible suffering attendant upon poorly managed bedsores.
Contact a Bedsore, Pressure Sore, Decubitus Ulcer and Nursing Home Injury Attorney Today
Do not let the abuse or neglect of your loved one in a nursing home go unpunished. Ellis Law will hold the responsible parties accountable.
To get more information free of charge, ask any questions you may have, or schedule an appointment with an experienced personal injury lawyer or nursing home negligence lawyer regarding nursing home injuries or death, please call us today at 1-800-LAW-7777 or
1-800-3-ABOGADO (toll free), e-mail us at [email protected], or submit the Nursing Home Answerline sm request form on the right side of this page for a prompt response.
Ellis Law, P.C.
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