Nursing Home Lawyer PA

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Pressure Ulcers "Almost Always Preventable"

According to a Philadelphia pressure ulcer lawyer, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement has zeroed in on pressure ulcer prevention, calling these injuries as “preventable in most every case.” Despite their preventability, pressure ulcers in health care facilities, including nursing homes, is increasing. This article will examine the key aspects of pressure ulcer prevention, and steps to take if your loved one has suffered unnecessarily form a preventable pressure ulcer. It will also provide the resources you need to reach out to a Philadelphia pressure ulcer lawyer for legal assistance if needed.

What is Pressure Ulcer?

A pressure ulcer is an injury to the skin or its underlying tissue. These injuries tend to occur over a bony prominence, such as an ankle or hip, due to pressure. They can also occur when pressure occurs due to friction or shearing.

Muscles and tissues located underneath skin are even more susceptible to pressure injuries than skin; therefore, pressure ulcers are frequently more serious than their initial presentation. A Philadelphia pressure ulcer lawyer has witnessed ulcers that have caused considerable harm to patients. Pressure ulcers can hinder functional recovery, cause pain and disfigurement, and lead to serious infections.  

Are Pressure Ulcers Considered Neglect?

A Philadelphia pressure ulcer lawyer recognizes that most pressure ulcers are completely avoidable with appropriate care. When a pressure ulcer develops at a hospital or nursing home, it is frequently due to lack of proper assessment or preventative care.

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ State Operations Manual requires that a nursing home provide care that meets a professional standard of practice to prevent pressure ulcers. It also demands that residents who have pressure ulcers receive necessary treatments and services that align with professional standards of practice to promote healing and prevent infection. 

Pressure ulcers can occur when nursing home or hospital staff are negligent in care. Negligence in care can look like:

  • Failure to turn and reposition
  • Failure to manage moisture, such as incontinence, on skin
  • Failure to assess pressure ulcer risk and implement interventions
  • Failure to optimize nutrition and hydration
  • Failure to properly treat existing ulcers
  • Failure to keep pressure ulcers clean and free of infection

Nursing homes that don’t implement measures to prevent or treat pressure ulcers often fail to meet the standards governing nursing homes. In many cases, these failures can surmount to neglect. A Philadelphia pressure ulcer lawyer is equipped to review the medical records and facts in your case and determine if you may be able to file a lawsuit for neglect.

Complications from Pressure Ulcers

Pressure ulcers frequently result in serious medical complications. These complications can prolong hospitalization, cause significant pain, and even result in death. In fact, the mortality rate for older persons who develop a pressure ulcer has been noted to be as high as 60%. Common complications from pressure ulcers include:

Sepsis: Sepsis is the body’s life-threatening response to an infection. It is a medical emergency that demands immediate action with rapid diagnosis and treatment. Bacterial infections from open pressure wounds are a common cause of sepsis. One study found that septicemia was reported in almost 40% of pressure-ulcer associated deaths.

Cellulitis: Cellulitis occurs when infection spreads from the locatin of the pressure ulcer to a deeper layer of skin causing pain, redness, and swelling.  Cellulitis often requires treatment with antibiotics.

Osteomyelitis: When a bacterial infection from a pressure ulcer spread to the bone, it is referred to as osteomyelitis.  Osteomyelitis affects from 17-32% of patients with infected pressure ulcers. Physicians typically diagnose osteomyelitis from laboratory tests and imaging studies. MRI imaging is often considered the gold standard for diagnostic imaging. Bone biopsies may also be performed to confirm the diagnosis.

Can You Sue for Pressure Ulcers?

Pursuing a lawsuit for pressure ulcers can help residents and families fight back against poor care at nursing homes and hold them responsible for injuries caused from neglect. Philadelphia nursing home neglect lawyers from our firm have extensive experience filing claims for nursing home neglect and achieving compensation for our clients.

Contact Experienced Nursing Home Lawyers for Help Today

Call the experienced nursing home lawyers at our firm today for a free consultation. We can help you understand the legal options available to you and help you decide if filing a lawsuit is the right step for your family. Our lawyers operate on a contingency fee basis; this means that we never take a fee unless we earn money for you. To speak directly to an attorney, call us at 888-789-3161 or send us a message via our online form. 


Contact the Nursing Home Neglect Lawyers at Our Firm

The nursing home neglect lawyers at our firm understand the plight of the nation’s nursing home residents. No one should be subject to neglect and substandard care in long term care facilities. Our attorneys will partner with you to take a stand against underperforming nursing homes and seek compensation for their injuries. Call us today or send us a message to speak directly with an nursing home neglect lawyer.

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