Should You Sue a Nursing Home for Bedsores? By Krista Sherinian
When a loved one cared for by a hospital or nursing home ends up with a bedsore, it usually is a sign they were not given proper care. Also called a pressure sore, facilities giving quality care train their staff in ways to prevent these such as using an air mattress or regularly repositioning the patient. If the individual is not conscious, or immobile, or otherwise unable to ask regularly to be helped to move, a hospital or nursing home could very well be liable for bedsores.
Bedsores can vary in severity, but are generally caused by the prolonged application of the pressure of the weight of the body on skin. Bedsores do not occur if a person is carefully monitored, regularly repositioned, and provided with the proper care or resources, even when the elderly are injured or have trouble moving on their own.
If you get a bedsore while in the hospital, or nursing home, because you were unable to reposition yourself, you may have a legal claim. Nowadays, advances in technology allow medical beds to be programmed to reposition a person’s body during the course of a day to relieve pressure. There are also lift devices to assist staff in moving patients. Due to this, facilities will find themselves on the defence when they have allowed a bedsore to occur under their supervision. However, medical malpractice claims are very nuanced, and what may rise to malpractice varies from state to state. Additionally, the statute of limitations to file a malpractice claim varies from state to state, and can even be less than a year. This is the time frame you are allowed to sue in.
A minor bedsore (stage I) that is only a mild irritant and heals without much difficulty is likely not to rise to the level of malpractice or negligent care if it is caught and remedied. However, a more severe pressure sore is likely to be considered such, particularly if a patient is immobile. However, there are many other signs that can also be used to base a claim for negligent care on our staff are trained to pick up in a legal interview. More severe bedsores may cause infections or require special wound care, like debridement. Those types are more likely to be a result of improper care because they were allowed to advance to that level.
If a person refuses care, and as a result of that refusal, suffers a bedsore, then that may defeat a legal claim based on a bedsore. This is a just one of many reasons why patients should cooperate with recommendations for physical therapy and medical examinations. But there’s also the issue of competency, and whether the patient’s refusal should have been honored if they have memory problems or confusion.
If you or a loved one developed a bedsore in a nursing home or hospital, contact a personal injury lawyer Chicago IL trusts today.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from The Law Office of Konrad Sherinian for their insight into nursing home negligence.