Baton Rouge Bed Sore Lawyer

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Louisiana Injury Lawyers for Bed Sores Due to Negligence

When we entrust our loved ones to a healthcare facility, we trust that they will be given the best possible medical care that the facility can provide. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen. Nursing home residents are too often the victims of neglect and can end up with life-threatening injuries as a result. Bed sores are only one example.

If you notice a family member beginning to develop bedsores and suspect that a nursing home facility is not taking proper care to prevent pressure wounds or treat bedsores, give us a call at the Joubert Law Firm. An experienced Baton Rouge personal injury attorney from our firm can help you fight for your family members in assisted living facilities and nursing homes. Call our South Louisiana law office at 225-761-3822 or fill out our online intake form to schedule a free consultation today. And remember, any confidential or sensitive information you share during your consultation will be protected by the attorney-client relationship.

Baton Rouge LA Bed Sore Lawyer

What are Bed Sores?

Bed sores, also called pressure sores, pressure ulcers, or decubitus ulcers, occur when constant pressure is placed on a specific area of skin. This happens most often when a person has a medical condition that limits their movement, leaving them lying in the same position for long periods of time. Typically, this means those most at risk for developing pressure ulcers are bedridden nursing home patients and hospital patients, as well as those in assisted living facilities.   

What Causes Bed Sores?

Bed sores are a pressure injury, hence why they are often also called pressure ulcers. However, there are three major contributing factors to the development of a pressure ulcer. 

Pressure

When a hospital patient or elderly patients of nursing homes lie in the same position for a long period of time, their body weight creates pressure on their back or side, depending on what position they’re in. This causes restricted blood flow to bony areas of the patient’s skin, such as the back, tailbone, shoulder blades, heels, and ankles. If the patient continues to lie in that position and blood flow continues to be restricted, you will begin to see the skin breakdown and a pressure injury will form. 

Friction

When vulnerable skin, such as that of elderly patients, repeatedly rubs against clothing or bedding, it can make the skin more vulnerable to injury and makes it far more likely that pressure sores will form. This is especially likely if the skin is also moist.

Shear

Shear is when two surfaces are touching but move in the opposite direction. For instance, in a nursing home or hospital when the head of the bed is raised, the patient might slide down in bed. As the tailbone moves down, the skin might stay in place, moving in the opposite direction. If repeated over many days, bed sores will begin to develop.

Because it is the responsibility of nursing staff and assisted living facility staff to ensure patients are moved often enough to prevent bed sores, there is often a connotation of nursing home neglect or nursing home abuse associated with pressure sores. While this is not always the case, unfortunately, it happens all too often.  

Medical Negligence

When it comes to pressure sores, medical malpractice is the elephant in the room. It’s up to nursing homes and nursing staff to ensure that patients with limited mobility are moved often enough to prevent pressure ulcers. 

When a nursing home resident or patient is unable to move themselves and proper care is not being observed to relieve pressure on more bony areas of the body, severe bedsores can form. These are entirely avoidable injuries and can lead to much more severe problems, and even the patient’s death in some extreme cases. 

If your family member or loved one, after a stay in a healthcare facility or hospital, acquired bedsores, give our experienced personal injury law firm in Baton Rouge a call. You might have a case for medical malpractice. 

How Quickly Can Bedsores Develop?

Depending on the patient in question, pressure sores can develop over a matter of hours or a matter of days. Some patients are at greater risk of developing bedsores than others, and a pressure sore may form sooner and be more difficult to treat. This is why a nursing home has a responsibility to be vigilant with all patients; some patients may need to be moved extremely often to avoid pressure ulcers forming. 

Before we get into the weeds of nursing home neglect, negligence, and lawsuits, let’s talk about some bed sore risk factors. If these factors apply to the nursing home patients in your life, staff should be taking extra care to avoid a pressure ulcer forming. 

Bed Sore Risk Factors

Of course, the most obvious risk factor for developing pressure ulcers is the inability to move. However, there are other factors that make pressure sores far more likely:

Lack of Sensation

Injuries like spinal cord injuries can result in a loss of sensation so that the patient is unable to feel pain or discomfort. A nursing home resident who is suffering a loss of sensation may not realize a pressure sore is forming and that they need to change position. 

Staff should regularly check relevant medical records of patients they aren’t familiar with, so they know which patients need to change position even if they aren’t aware a pressure ulcer is forming. 

Poor Circulation

Decubitus ulcers occur when there is a lack of blood flow due to pressure on the skin; however, if a nursing home patient already suffers from a condition that restricts blood flow, a pressure ulcer or bed sore is more likely to form.  

Poor Nutrition

We need proper nutrients to keep our skin healthy; without them, there will be painful skin breakdown, eventually leading to a pressure ulcer. For this reason, medical facilities must provide excellent nutrition and hydration for patients to avoid injuries like pressure ulcers.

Bedsore Treatment 

To treat bedsores, the first thing medical staff will do is relieve the pressure causing the injury. After that, it’s simply a matter of dressing and cleaning the wound. However, in some cases where there is significant skin breakdown, some damaged tissue may need to be removed entirely.

The severity of a pressure sore varies, as does the intensity of the treatment. But many nursing home residents should never suffer from a pressure ulcer in the first place. If you suspect nursing home abuse or neglect, schedule a free consultation with a Baton Rouge nursing home abuse lawyer at Joubert Law Firm right away. 

Are Pressure Sores a Form of Neglect?

None of us want to think that nursing home abuse happens; however, for some patients with bed sores, it is a reality. 

Though for some patients, a pressure ulcer might form very quickly before the staff at their nursing home or assisted living facility realizes, for many patients, a pressure sore is completely avoidable. Without nursing home abuse and neglect, many patients would not suffer from pressure ulcers or the resulting medical bills. 

Let’s go over some of the statistics related to pressure ulcers in the US.

Bed Sore Statistics

According to the National Pressure Injury Advisory panel, in 2021, pressure ulcers were the second most common diagnosis listed in billing records. They also make up a huge percentage of malpractice claims. People with disabilities and spinal cord injuries are also far more likely to develop a bed sore. And, overwhelmingly, these bed sore cases tend to originate in facilities like nursing homes. 

Baton Rouge Bed Sore Injury Law Firm

Who is Responsible for Bed Sores on Nursing Home Residents?

Generally, hospital or nursing home staff are responsible when nursing home residents suffer from a bed sore that began in their facility. Pressure ulcer prevention is a huge part of the staff’s responsibility to their patients, who are often unable to care for themselves. The hospital or nursing home where the neglect took place also becomes responsible for the bed sore through vicarious liability.

A nursing home bedsore lawsuit can potentially be long and stressful for everyone involved. Schedule a free consultation with our experienced bed sore lawyers at the Joubert Law Firm if you want someone held accountable for nursing home abuse.

How Can a Lawyer Help with a Bed Sore Injury Claim?

Nursing homes and hospitals are often owned by large corporations with extensive legal departments. Proving nursing home abuse is never easy; like with all malpractice claims, plaintiffs must prove that the nursing home in question:

  • Had a duty to care for the plaintiff. This is relatively easy, as that is what nursing homes are meant to do for their patients. If a plaintiff was a patient at a nursing home, the duty to care is already established.
  • Breached this duty to care. This is where things get a little dicey. In order to prove that nursing home abuse took place, you have to establish that the nursing home could have done something to prevent the injury from happening and failed to do so. The standard of care can be different for different nursing homes, for different patients, and for different situations; proving this requires plenty of expert medical testimony.
  • You must also prove that this breach is the cause of the injury. Again, proving that the actions of the nursing home directly resulted in the injury requires medical expert testimony.
  • That this injury resulted in compensable losses. This could be extra medical expenses, pain and suffering, or even lost wages, if applicable.

A dedicated and experienced attorney can help you establish negligence and obtain compensation for the injury you or your loved ones suffered while in the care of a nursing home or other medical facility. Fill out our online form for a free consultation with the Joubert Law Firm to learn more.

Nursing Home Bed Sore Lawsuit Settlement

Some of the damages you might recover in a nursing home bedsore case include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Reduced ability to earn
  • Pain and suffering

In some extreme cases, a patient’s immediate family might also be able to sue for wrongful death and receive:

  • Funeral expenses
  • Emotional damages
  • Loss of future income
Baton Rouge Bed Sore Injury Lawyer

Bed Sores? You or Your Loved One May Be Able to Recover Compensation

Nursing homes have a responsibility to provide effective care for their residents. When they don’t live up to that expectation, injured patients and their families deserve compensation. 

If you’re in search of experienced bed sore lawyers to help you win compensation from negligent nursing homes, hospitals, or living facilities, call our Baton Rouge office today. During your free consultation, any confidential or sensitive information is protected by the attorney-client relationship. 

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