At Senior Justice Law Firm, we understand the profound distress and frustration you may feel when a loved one gets a bedsore due to neglect in a nursing home, assisted living facility, or hospital. Bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers, are not just painful injuries; they often are preventable signs of inadequate care and attention. If you need a Tampa bedsore lawyer, please contact Senior Justice Law Firm.

With decades of specialized experience in bedsore litigation, our team is deeply committed to delivering justice for neglect victims. We focus primarily on cases involving bedsores, which comprise a significant part of our caseload.

Whether your loved one has developed bedsores due to neglect or abuse in a care facility, Senior Justice Law Firm stands ready to assist. Our commitment is not just to secure compensation, but to drive change for better care standards, holding facilities accountable, and preventing future neglect.

Tampa’s Dedicated Attorneys for Bedsore Injury Claims

Also known as pressure sores or decubitus ulcers, bedsores are alarmingly common in care facilities like nursing homes and hospitals. We firmly believe that bedsores should never be a norm during hospital stays or nursing home residencies. When left untreated, these sores can escalate to critical health complications, including sepsis, osteomyelitis, and wrongful death.

If you discover that your loved one has developed bedsores in any such facility, it’s crucial to act swiftly. Reporting the incident not only ensures immediate medical attention but also initiates the process of holding the responsible parties accountable.

Filing a Lawsuit for Bedsore Injuries

If your parent or loved one has developed bedsores while in a care facility, you have the right to file a nursing home bedsore lawsuit against the responsible facility. Simple measures like regular repositioning can significantly reduce the risk, even for bedridden patients. However, many nursing homes, driven by profit motives, often compromise on patient care by understaffing or employing inadequately trained personnel.

Unfortunately, a significant portion of elder abuse, including cases involving bedsores, goes unreported. By taking legal action, you seek justice for your loved one and highlight these neglectful practices, fostering improvements in care and preventing future neglect.

Understanding Your Legal Rights in Bedsore Cases

When an elderly family member residing in a nursing home or assisted living facility develops a bedsore, it’s crucial to understand that this is not a standard or acceptable outcome. Every care facility must prevent such injuries, and failure to fulfill this duty can result in legal liability.

If you discover your loved one has developed a bedsore, immediate action is necessary. Show any identified pressure sores to medical professionals, document the injury with photographs, and maintain a record of all communications with the facility’s staff regarding the sore. This documentation will be vital if you choose to pursue legal action.

The Risks of Infection from Bedsores

Bedsores, when left untreated, can lead to serious and life-threatening infections. Common infections arising from these pressure wounds include:

  • Osteomyelitis,
  • Sepsis,
  • E. Coli,
  • Cellulitis,
  • Septic arthritis,
  • Staphylococcus aureus,
  • Proteus mirabilis,
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and
  • MRSA.

Victims often describe bedsores as excruciatingly painful, starting as a mild irritation and rapidly escalating to severe agony that makes comfort impossible. The risk of infection further complicates the condition, leading to additional medical treatments and pain. Infections can cause the surrounding skin to become necrotic; in extreme cases, these infections can be fatal.

Understanding the Stages of Bedsores

Bedsores progress through various stages, each reflecting a different degree of severity and requiring specific care and legal consideration. Families need to understand these differences.

Stage 1 Pressure Sore

A Stage 1 bedsore appears as a small red spot on the skin, similar to a rash. The skin remains intact at this stage. While painful, a Stage 1 pressure sore is managed if treated promptly, preventing further damage.

Stage 2 Bedsore

A Stage 2 pressure sore becomes an open wound with minimal depth, resembling a scrape or blister. While more serious than Stage 1, these wounds can often be successfully treated and healed if addressed quickly.

Stage 3 Pressure Ulcer

A Stage 3 pressure ulcer indicates a more severe condition where the wound extends deeper into the skin and fat layer. This stage does not yet involve muscle, tendon, or bone but poses a significant health risk and usually requires treatment by specialized wound care professionals.

Stage 4 Bedsore

Stage 4 bedsores represent a critical condition where the ulcer is deep enough to reach muscle and bone, potentially causing damage to these deeper structures. These severe wounds may lead to serious infections like osteomyelitis and are often the focus of legal action due to their severity.

Unstageable Bedsore

Unstageable bedsores are so severe that doctors cannot accurately assess their depth, often because the wound base is obscured by slough or eschar. These are typically equivalent to Stage 4 in severity and demand immediate medical and legal attention.

Deep Tissue Injury (DTI)

A DTI is a pressure sore that develops from the inside out, initially appearing as a maroon or purple area before opening up to reveal a deep wound. Medical records can misclassify these injuries, an issue we frequently encounter in legal cases involving bedsores.

Why Staging Is Important

The stage of a bedsore is crucial in determining both the medical treatment required and the legal implications. More severe stages like 3, 4, and unstageable sores often trigger mandatory reporting and are typically the focus of legal action due to the level of neglect they represent. If you are uncertain about the stage of a loved one’s bedsore, we recommend consulting with a Tampa bedsore attorney immediately.

Should Family Members Take Photos of the Bedsore?

Yes, capturing images of the wound is a critical step in documenting the extent and severity of the injury. Photographs can be invaluable as they serve two primary purposes:

  • Evidence of the bedsore’s existence. A photograph provides undeniable proof that the bedsore existed. It is a tangible representation of the injury that speaks volumes about the level of care (or lack thereof) your loved one received.
  • Establishment of a timeline. Photos help in dating the progression of the bedsore. It’s crucial to establish how long the sore has been present and can indicate whether the nursing home provided proper care and attention.

Relying solely on the facility’s documentation is not advisable. It is common for internal records to omit or inadequately capture the correct state of a bedsore.

Who Is at Risk for Bedsores?

Bedsores are a significant risk for residents in nursing homes, more so than for hospital patients. This increased risk is attributed to typically lower staff numbers and generally lower levels of care in nursing homes compared to acute care hospitals. Key risk factors include:

  • Thinner skin as people age;
  • Conditions that might diminish a person’s ability to feel pain;
  • Incontinence;
  • Smoking, which restricts blood flow; and
  • Chronic conditions, such as diabetes.

Malnutrition can also increase the risk of bedsores. Nutritional deficiencies, such as a lack of protein and vitamin C in the diet, can lead to thinning skin, too.

Contact a Tampa Bedsore Lawyer

If you need legal assistance pursuing a claim against an assisted living facility or hospital, speak with a skilled Tampa bedsore injury lawyer at Senior Justice Law Firm. We have decades of experience litigating nursing home abuse cases and have recovered over $25 million on behalf of injured clients. If your loved one has developed bedsores, it’s time to take action. Be a voice for patient neglect and help hold the responsible facility accountable.