The Dark Side of Pressure Sores – Negligence, Responsibility, and Complications

When you or a loved one is in a hospital or care facility like a nursing home, you expect the utmost of healthcare. It is everyone’s goal to become healthier through treatment but how can one do so when they have the threat of pressure sores lingering over them? Truth be told, pressure sores should not happen while in a nursing home or hospital and there are many precautions to be taken so they can be avoided. When they do occur, this is due case to assume that it might have been because of negligence.

What are some complications due to pressure sores?

Pressure sores, in summary, are caused when there is unrelieved pressure to the skin. They can occur most frequently in areas of the body where bone and skin are very close in contact or to people in a nursing home facility who stay in one place for long periods of time. There are many stages of pressure sores and many ways a nursing home can monitor a patient to make sure they do not occur. However, if they happen to pop up anyway, many complications can result from such. In elderly patients who are more at risk for pressure sores, this can be an issue in their already-degraded health. They can lead to the following health complications:

  • Chronic pressure sores in a patient may lead to squamous cell carcinoma, which is a type of very destructive cancer. This can lead to surgery of an already ailed body.
  • Bone and joint infections, septic arthritis, can damage cartilage and tissues. These result from the infection burying itself deep into pressure sores.
  • Sepsis can occur, which is a bacterial infection to the bloodstream or body tissues and happens when bacteria enters the victim’s bloodstream through the open pressure sore. As a result, life-threatening organ failure or other extreme issues may occur.
  • The victim may experience cellulitis, which is an inflammation of connective tissues. As a result, they may develop meningitis, which affects the fluid that surrounds the spinal cord and brain. (1)

So who is responsible in my pressure sore case?

In some cases, a nursing home or hospital may be liable for you or a loved one getting pressure sore injuries. Nursing homes are supposed to train their staff in proper care and maintenance to avoid a pressure sore, which is seen as extremely preventable in nature when precautions are taken. Therefore, liability can fall on a nursing home when there was a failure to provide lack of stimulation to a patient, to turn and position the patient, to provide adequate pressure relief, or to change the adult diapers on a patient. Hospitals, on the other hand, promise good and accepted medical standards and expect many various things to happen to a patient and have proper knowledge and technology. Therefore, pressure sores can be avoided drastically and should never occur in these settings when one is seeking the best possible care.

If you or a loved one believes they have received bad care in a hospital or nursing home setting and, as a result obtained a pressure sore with further complications, you can contact one of our lawyers to speak about your possible case. We will schedule a consultation with you and try to get you the compensation you deserve in your time of need.