Kansas City Bedsore Attorneys
Representing the Rights of the Elderly & Disabled
Also known as pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers, bedsores are serious injuries to the skin and surrounding tissues caused by extended pressure on affected areas of the body. Elderly individuals and those with mobility issues require frequent repositioning to avoid bedsores.
When nursing home staff and caregivers fail to take the proper steps to prevent or properly treat bedsores, they can be held responsible.
Our Kansas City bedsore attorneys have successfully represented numerous clients who have suffered devastating injuries and complications related to pressure ulcers. We also represent families who have lost loved ones due to nursing home abuse and neglect, leading to bedsores and other injuries.
If you or your loved one developed bedsores due to poor or negligent care in a long-term assisted living facility, reach out to our team at the Law Office of Tom Wagstaff Jr. for help.
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What Are Bedsores?
Bedsores, or pressure ulcers, are wounds that occur on the skin and may cause damage to surrounding tissue. Bedsores are most common in people with limited mobility, as they result from prolonged pressure on the skin, often caused by lying or sitting in one position for an extended period of time. When left untreated, bedsores can advance to more serious stages.
The four stages of bedsores include:
- Stage 1: Stage 1 bedsores are the mildest stage. However, immediate treatment is still required to prevent stage 1 bedsores from progressing. At this stage, bedsores are characterized by red, blue, or purple-tinted skin that is often warm to the touch, as well as burning, pain, and itching.
- Stage 2: Stage 2 bedsores are slightly more advanced than stage 1 bedsores. At this stage, bedsores may appear as open scrapes or sores, or they may look like blisters. They are often accompanied by pain and discoloration of the skin.
- Stage 3: Like stage 2 bedsores, stage 3 bedsores typically appear as blisters, wounds, or scrapes. At this stage, the skin around the affected area will also have an indented, crater-like appearance caused by damage to the underlying tissue.
- Stage 4: Stage 4 bedsores are considered the most advanced type of bedsore. At this stage, the skin and surrounding area are severely damaged and bedsores will appear as a large, open wound. Stage 4 bedsores can also lead to bone, tendon, muscle, and joint damage, as well as an increased risk of serious or even fatal infection.
Warning Signs of Bedsores
Some of the most common warning signs of bedsores include:
- Discomfort or pain
- Changes in skin texture or color
- Skin that is warm or cool to the touch
- Pus-like draining
- Skin tenderness
People who are most at risk of bedsores include those who use wheelchairs, have limited mobility, or are bedridden. It is important that caregivers check individuals for warning signs and act appropriately when such signs are detected. Failing to address bedsores at an early stage can lead to progression, which puts the individual at risk of serious complications, health risks, and infections.
What Causes Bedsores?
Generally speaking, bedsores are caused by extended pressure on the skin. This is often the result of prolonged sitting and/or lying down. Elderly individuals and those with disabilities/mobility issues are at a heightened risk of developing bedsores, and nursing home staff and caregivers should respond accordingly.
At the Law Office of Tom Wagstaff Jr., our team knows how to effectively prove these types of claims. Our Kansas City bedsore lawyers have the experience, resources, and willingness to take cases to trial whenever necessary. You can rely on our firm to fight tirelessly for every penny you are owed, along with the justice you deserve.
“He worked hard on our behalf and we reached a positive conclusion.” - Lori D.
“Tom gives lawyers a good name.” - Donna J.
“Tom and his firm are great people!” - Brad
How Can Bedsores Be Prevented In a Nursing Home Setting?
In a nursing home setting, the prevention of bedsores (also known as pressure ulcers) involves several key measures.
Some strategies to prevent bedsores include:
- Regular repositioning: Residents should be repositioned frequently to relieve pressure on specific areas of the body. This helps to promote circulation and prevent the development of bedsores.
- Adequate nutrition and hydration: Proper nutrition plays a crucial role in preventing bedsores. Residents should receive a well-balanced diet that includes sufficient protein, vitamins, and minerals to support healthy skin. Adequate hydration is also important to maintain skin health and prevent dryness.
- Skin care and hygiene: Regularly cleaning and inspecting the skin is essential in preventing bedsores. Caregivers should gently cleanse the skin and use moisturizers to keep it hydrated. It's important to keep the skin dry and avoid prolonged exposure to moisture, as this can increase the risk of skin breakdown.
- Use of specialized support surfaces: Specialized mattresses, cushions, and overlays can help distribute pressure evenly and reduce the risk of developing bedsores.
- Regular assessment and monitoring: Nursing home staff should conduct routine skin assessments to identify any signs of early-stage bedsores. Prompt detection allows for timely intervention and treatment.
- Communication and family involvement: Open communication between nursing home staff, residents, and their families is essential. Family members should be encouraged to participate in care planning and be informed about their loved one's risk factors, preventive measures, and any changes in skin condition.
- Staff education and training: Nursing home staff should receive proper training on the prevention and management of bedsores. This includes education on repositioning techniques, skin care practices, identifying risk factors, and implementing preventive measures.
It's important for nursing homes to have comprehensive protocols and policies in place to address the prevention of bedsores. By implementing these preventive strategies and ensuring a high standard of care, the risk of bedsores can be significantly reduced in a nursing home setting.
Are Bedsores Caused by Nursing Home Neglect?
In many cases, bedsores are the result of neglect by nursing home and long-term care facility staff, as well as private caregivers. These facilities and caregivers have a responsibility to properly care for residents and patients, which includes taking basic measures to prevent and/or treat bedsores. When they fail to uphold this duty, they can be held legally responsible for victims’ damages.
To prove that your or your loved one’s bedsores were the result of nursing home neglect, you must typically prove each of the following elements:
- You or your loved one developed bedsores while under the care of a nursing home, long-term care facility, assisted living facility, private caregiver, or similar entity
- The nursing home, facility, or caregiver had a duty to properly care for you or your loved one, including taking necessary measures to prevent and/or treat bedsores
- The nursing home, facility, or caregiver failed to take the proper measures to prevent and/or treat bedsores or otherwise provide an acceptable standard of care
- You or your loved one developed bedsores because of the nursing home, facility, or caregiver’s failure to provide acceptable care
- You and/or your loved one suffered damages related to the injury, such as medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, emotional distress, etc.
If you believe that your loved one has suffered bedsores as a result of nursing home neglect, reach out to our bedsore lawyers in Kansas City at (816) 597-4556 or contact us online today. We are standing by to help!