Many residents who reside at nursing homes are often bedridden or live most of the day in their wheelchairs. As a result, nursing home residents are at high risk for developing bedsores (also known as pressure sores or ulcers) on their back, hips, ankles, heels, and elbows. This is because the pressure on these areas of the body often go unrelieved when they are pressed against a bed or wheelchair all day.
Sadly, bedsores are a problem in nursing homes in Florida and nationwide and are often a sign of nursing home abuse and neglect. Nursing home workers know which residents – typically, those who are sedentary – need turned often so they don’t develop pressure sores. Unfortunately, many nursing homes are understaffed or don’t provide the proper attention that residents need. Thus, many nursing home residents remain unmoved all day and night.
The Seriousness of Bedsores in South Florida Nursing Homes
Nursing homes are supposed to monitor residents for bedsores and treat them so they don’t increase. However, many nursing home residents who have bedsores often don’t get the adequate medical attention they need, so their bedsores get worse.
Pressure sores can lead to serious health issues, even life-threatening health problems – especially when they go untreated. Some unfortunate consequences of untreated bedsores includes:
- Sepsis. Bacteria from an infection can enter the bloodstream through an open wound such as a bedsore. Unfortunately, it can spread to other areas of the body and can cause sepsis, which typically causes a fever, rapid breathing and fast heart rate. When left untreated, it can lead to septic shock, organ failure and eventual death.
- Joint infections or bone infections. Infections from bedsores can burrow into one’s bones or joints – damaging tissue or cartilage within days. Sadly, this can lead to a reduced function of one’s limbs and joints and can eventually lead to bone death and life-threatening complications.
- Gangrene. When bedsores are left untreated, the death of tissue around the bedsore can take place, along with a reduced blood flow and bacteria. As a result, gangrene can occur, which can cause a foul odor and black or green skin discoloration. There are also rare forms off gangrene that can be potentially fatal.
- Cellulitis. Untreated bedsores can cause an infection of the skin’s connective tissues, which can cause severe pain, redness and swelling. If this condition isn’t properly treated, it can cause sepsis, meningitis and other life-threatening complications.
- Tissue Necrosis. When an infection spreads, it can cause the death of tissues and destroy layers of tissue that surround the muscles and bones. Sadly, it can cause necrotizing fasciitis, which is rare but can cause death within 12 to 24 hours if treatment doesn’t occur.
Untreated Bedsores Deserve Justice
When bedsores go untreated and you or a loved one has suffered any adverse effects as a result of nursing home abuse and neglect, you may have a legal case for compensation. To find out about your rights to hold the negligent nursing home accountable, contact the Law Offices of David Benenfeld at 866-9 HELP NOW or 866-943-5766 for a free consultation with a nursing home neglect attorney in the Fort Lauderdale area.