Bedsore Lawyers in Portland
Bedsores, also referred to as pressure sores or pressure ulcers, are painful wounds that develop when there is prolonged pressure on the skin because a person is laying down or sitting in the same position for a long period of inactivity. Bedsores are common among nursing home residents who have trouble moving on their own and can be a warning sign of neglect – if staff members do not help these residents move around, pressure can build up and sores can develop. If you believe your loved one’s bedsores are a sign of neglect, your loved one may be entitled to compensation for their pain and suffering and other damages.
The Portland bedsore lawyers at our firm are well-versed in the causes of bedsores, including patient risk factors and how nursing home negligence contributes to these injuries. We know how to build a strong case against the staff members and others who are at-fault for your loved one’s injury. We work to hold negligent facilities and nursing home workers liable to help keep other residents safe. We also know how important it is for victims to receive compensation for what they have suffered. We offer a free, no obligation legal consultation to discuss your situation. If you have a case and want to pursue it, there is no charge for having us represent you. We are not compensated unless you receive compensation.
What Causes Bedsores?
Bedsores are injuries to the skin and the underlying tissue due to prolonged pressure. A lot of nursing home residents are more at risk for developing bedsores because they are unable to move themselves very much, if at all. When a resident cannot move on his or her own, staff members must turn or reposition them frequently to take the pressure off their bodies.
Once a sore develops, pressure needs to be kept off the area and it needs to be kept clean to prevent it from getting worse. Nursing home staff members need to carefully monitor the injury to help ensure it is treated properly. Proper treatment can include gently washing the wound with mild soap and water, applying dressings and removing dead tissue because it may be infected.
If staff members fail to move patients or provide appropriate treatment, they could be held liable for negligence. Our Portland bedsore lawyers may be able to help you pursue compensation.
Where Bedsores Commonly Develop
Bedsores frequently occur on bony areas of the body that are not typically covered by layers of fat or muscle, such as the:
- Lower back
Bedsores often develop on the lower back, buttocks, hips and tailbone when a resident is laying in bed for a long period of time and is not moved. Bedsores on the feet, ankles and heels often develop when residents are seated in a wheelchair for a long period of time.
If you feel your loved one has fallen victim to bedsores due to negligence in their nursing home, contact our Portland lawyers today for a free consultation.
Stages of Bedsores
Bedsores are divided into four stages in order of their severity:
- Stage one: This looks like a small red spot or rash and it is not an open wound. The skin in the area does not change colors when you press your finger on it. A stage one sore has no breaks or tears, but it can be painful.
- Stage two: When the injury progresses to this point, there is a break in the skin that may appear like a cut or blister. The area is sensitive and painful to the touch. At this stage, the injury has expanded deeper in to the skin, and some of the skin may be damaged beyond repair. In some cases, the sore may look like a blister and have clear fluid inside it.
- Stage three: A small crater develops that may expose body fat. This is because the sore has expanded beyond the skin and is just above the muscle, tissue and bone.
- Stage four: This stage bedsore is a severe, hollow wound that extends through the skin and fat and into the muscle, tissue and bone.
There are also some sores that do not fit into one of the four stages. These sores are covered in dead skin with a brown, yellow, tan or green color. Because of the dead skin, it is difficult to determine what stage the sore is in.
Types of Residents at Risk for Bedsores
Nursing home residents who are most at risk of developing bedsores include:
- Immobile residents who cannot move without assistance
- Residents who have medical conditions which affect blood flow such as diabetes or vascular disease – poor blood flow makes sores more likely to develop
- Residents suffering from malnutrition or dehydration
- Obese residents
- Residents with medical conditions that prevent them from feeling discomfort and pain that lets them know when they need to be repositioned
- Residents with dry or fragile skin – older people are much more likely to have dry skin
Bedsores are often completely avoidable with proper care. Even if a sore develops and it was not caused by negligence, nursing home staff members can prevent it from getting worse by continually monitoring the sore and treating it appropriately.
If you think your loved one’s bedsore was caused or made worse by neglect, contact our Portland bedsore lawyers today for a free consultation. There is no obligation to take legal action, and you do not owe us anything unless you receive compensation.
What to Do if Your Loved One Has a Bedsore?
Under federal and state law, nursing home residents are entitled to be treated with dignity and respect. This means they must live free from abuse or neglect and receive the proper care to ensure their health and well-being.
Unfortunately, this does not always happen, and residents are not always able to do anything about it. Sometimes they cannot even report what is going on because of mental limitations or fear of retaliation from staff members. This is why you need to watch for signs of neglect.
Bedsores are a common sign of nursing home neglect, so if you see one, there is a chance it could have been prevented. This means you may have legal options.
However, the first thing you need to do is get the bedsore treated properly. The next step is to report what happened to nursing home staff members. You can also file a complaint with Oregon’s Department of Human Services Community-Based Care Licensing Complaint Unit. This will begin an investigation into what happened.
The next step is to meet with an experienced, trusted Portland bedsore lawyer for a free consultation. The attorneys at Rizk Law can guide you through the legal process. We have detailed knowledge of these kinds of cases, including the evidence we need, how to obtain it, and how to determine the value of the claim. The value of the claim not only includes medical expenses but also pain and suffering experienced by your loved one and loss of quality of life.
We understand how important compensation is. We know it can never change what happened, but it is the law’s way of attempting to put your loved one in the position he or she was in before the abuse or neglect occurred.
Contact us today by calling 503.245.5677.
Contact a Portland Bedsore Attorney Right Away
Bedsores are a common nursing home injury that results from neglect. When they occur, residents’ loved ones are shocked and angry and may be unsure about what to do next.
Our bedsore attorneys in Portland understand what families go through after discovering their loved one has a bedsore. We want the liable parties to be held responsible, and we want you to receive compensation to deal with physical, financial and emotional damages caused by bedsores.
Schedule a free legal consultation to find out how we can help you. We will manage the entire legal process on your behalf so you can focus on treating your loved one’s injury and helping to prevent it from getting worse.