Kansas City Personal Injury Attorneys Warn of the Dangers of Pressure Ulcers (Bed Sores)

When a family makes the decision to place a loved one is a nursing home it is done with the thought that the facility is the best place possible for him or her to obtain the care that he or she needs and that the family is unable to provide. Selecting and placing a loved one is a nursing home requires the family to have complete trust in the institution. Often the facilities selected are quality institutions that deliver a fine standard of care. Other times, our first indication that the facility may not be what it led us to believe it was, is after our loved one suffers an injury. For example, the presence of a pressure ulcer, also known as a bed sore, may be one of the first signs that something may be amiss at the facility.

What is a pressure ulcer?  A pressure ulcer is a wound to the skin and underlying tissue that usually occurs at or near a bony area after a period of unrelieved pressure on the skin. The location of pressure ulcer is dependent on how the person is confined. If left for too long seated, for example, like in a wheelchair, pressure ulcers typically occur on the person’s back, shoulders or spine; buttocks or tailbone; and backs of arms and legs. When a person is confined to bed, the most at-risk areas for pressure ulcers are the back of the person’s head or ears; heels, ankles, and skin beneath the knees, along with the hips, low back, and tailbone.

Why are pressure ulcers cause for concern? Pressure ulcers vary in severity and can quickly become serious and even life-threatening if not treated promptly. Ulcers are classified according to stages from I to IV, with IV being the most severe. Ulcers that are stage I or II are considered mild and usually range in appearance from a light skin discoloration to something that appears more like a scrape or a blister. These sores only affect the top layers of the skin. A stage III sore in comparison has the appearance of a deep crater, and a stage IV can extend from the surface of the skin to the muscle, bone, and joints. Pressure ulcers can be extremely painful and if left untreated can lead to a serious infection of bone, blood or skin.

Why are nursing home residents at risk of developing pressure ulcers? Nursing home residents are at a higher risk of developing pressure ulcer due to age, infirmity, and the inability to move freely.

What do I need to do to protect my loved one at a nursing home from getting a pressure ulcer? Quality care facilities have staff that is well-trained on how to prevent pressure ulcers. Nursing home staff understand the importance of repositioning residents regularly and how to use support materials like pillows or padding to keep pressure off of sensitive areas.  In most instances, if your loved one is receiving the care he or she needs, pressure ulcers should not occur.

If you believe that your loved one has been a victim of nursing home negligence or abuse it is importance that to speak with an experienced Kansas City Personal Injury Attorney as soon as possible. Proving a case of nursing home negligence or abuse requires key knowledge of the law and proper diligence to investigate the facts. The Kansas City Personal Injury Attorneys at Hubbard & Kurtz, L.L.P. have helped countless injured nursing home victims around the area, both in Kansas and Missouri, and know how to win a case. To find out how the attorneys at Hubbard & Kurtz, L.L.P. can help you, contact our office today at (816) 472-4673 to schedule a consultation. At Hubbard & Kurtz, L.L.P. we pride ourselves on providing our clients with outstanding legal services.


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