If you have an elderly loved one in a nursing home or assisted living facility in Los Angeles County, you might have learned at some point that your loved one developed a bed sore. When bed sores are identified very early on, they are treatable and do not often have long-term or severe consequences. However, when bed sores are not properly identified and treated, they can become so serious that they can actually result in life-threatening medical emergencies. You might be wondering: is the presence of a bed sore always a sign of nursing home neglect or abuse, or are there situations in which a relatively minor bed sore can occur and be treated without the presence of abuse or neglect? And are all serious bed sores the result of abuse or neglect? These are critical questions to consider, and our Los Angeles County nursing home neglect lawyers are here to help.
Understanding Bed Sores
In order to understand when bed sores can be a result of nursing home neglect or abuse, it is essential to be clear about what bed sores are and how they form. According to the Cleveland Clinic, bed sores are, quite simply, “wounds that occur from prolonged pressure on your skin.” They occur most frequently among “people who are immobile for long periods, such as those who are bedridden or use a wheelchair.” They can be extremely painful and can result in significant and life-threatening infections if untreated. Bed sores are staged according to severity, with Stage 1 bed sores being the least severe and Stage 4 bed sores being the most severe.
Stage 1 Bed Sores Can Be a Result of Neglect or Abuse
Generally speaking, a nursing home can be liable for any bed sore that results from a lack of care or negligent care. In some limited cases, a Stage 1 bed sore could, in theory, develop even if a patient or resident is receiving timely and quality care, depending upon that person’s health and circumstances. However, any bed sore could potentially result from neglect or negligence, so it is important to seek legal advice about the specific circumstances of a bed sore case.
More Serious Bed Sores are Most Likely from Neglect or Abuse, and You Should Talk with a Lawyer as Soon as Possible
More serious bed sores will almost always result from neglect, abuse, or negligent care at a nursing home. Even if a facility does not intend to provide poor care but residents are not provided with timely care due to understaffing, the facility is usually liable. Bed sores occur and worsen when older adults, especially those who are immobile, do not receive the attention or care they need.
When Stage 1 bed sores are not treated quickly and appropriately, they can quickly become Stage 2 bed sores, according to the Cleveland Clinic, which can require additional medical treatment and usually result in more severe pain. Stage 3 bed sores are “noticeable wounds” that affect the fatty layer of the skin and require immediate medical intervention, and Stage 4 bed sores are so severe that they “penetrate all three layers of skin, exposing muscles, tendons, and bones in your musculoskeletal system.”
Contact a Los Angeles County Nursing Home Neglect Attorney
Whether you have concerns about bed sores or other infections at a nursing home or assisted living facility, or you believe your elderly loved one was harmed as a result of nursing home neglect or abuse, it is important to seek assistance from a lawyer who can help you. One of the experienced Los Angeles County nursing home attorneys at our firm can talk with you today and can provide you with more information about filing a claim. Contact the Walton Law Firm for more information about the services we provide in Southern California.
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