Mortality Rates From Pressure Wounds Rising
Neglect, Negligence And Abandonment Of Patients
Elderly At Heightened Risk
Each year, approximately 60,000 people die of complications of pressure wounds or ulcers, also known as bed sores. According to medical studies, individuals with pressure ulcers have a 4.5-times greater risk of death than persons with the same risk factors but without pressure injuries. Infections like sepsis or gangrene and other complications related to pressure injuries can increase the risk of mortality to 55%. For nursing home patients, death can come quickly after pressure wounds first develop if those wounds are not treated properly. Development and mistreatment of pressure wounds are often products of neglect or negligence. Injury by negligence, neglect and abandonment are forms of elder abuse. See Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code §§ 15610.05 (definition of abandonment); 15610.63 (definition of physical elder abuse), and 15610.57 (definition of neglect). Victims and families may sue all those responsible for injuries sustained. Recourse can include award of attorneys’ fees and costs in certain circumstances. Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15657(a). If you have a loved one who has suffered injury due to neglect, abandonment or abuse in a nursing home or care facility here in Orange Countyor elsewhere in California, call Evans Law Firm, Inc. at 415-441-8669, and we can help. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).
Dangers of Pressure Wounds/Bed Sores
Bed sores often occur when nursing home residents are immobile or bedridden and develop on parts of the body that make the most contact with surfaces- tailbone, ankles, heels, and hips.Bed sores develop in four stages. In stage one, the skin begins to turn red and may feel warm. It may be painful to the touch. In stage two, the wound opens as the skin breaks down. In stage three, the wound area becomes deeper as more tissue begins to die. In stage four, there is large scale tissue loss. When bed sores progress to the later stages, they can lead to other complications that are fatal for nursing home residents. Three of the more common deadly problems arising from bed sores are osteomyelitis, sepsis, and gangrene. Without fast, proper treatment, these three conditions may lead to death. In fact, in cases of septic shock, the mortality rate is as high as 50%. The average length of time between the development of stage four pressure sores and death is only 47 days.
Protecting Injured Residents And Recourse
Neglect manifesting in pressure wounds or bed sores can be detected if you or someone you trust is able to routinely visit the at-risk elder or dependent adult. Keep an eye on the care your loved one is receiving. Residents may develop bedsores if staff members:
- Cannot adequately care for every resident due to understaffing
- Don’t treat dehydration or malnutrition, which can prevent healing or worsen sores
- Fail to notice or treat earlier stage sores due to skipped or rushed care
- Leave residents with mobility issues lying in beds or wheelchairs for hours on end
- Fail to clean and dry incontinent patients
If you see any signs whatsoever of neglect, do something about it. Seek counsel regarding possible claims your loved one might have against those responsible. There is no benefit to waiting. If a loved one has suffered injury as the result of abuse or neglect, our attorneys will pursue all available remedies from owners, administrators and staff.
Ingrid M. Evans and Evans Law Firm, Inc. represent victims of nursing home abuse and neglect in Orange County and throughout California. Call Ingrid today at (415) 441-8669, or by email at <a href=”mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org”>email@example.com</a>. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267). Ingrid will pursue all available remedies for injured seniors including recovery of attorneys’ fees and expenses for bringing your lawsuit.