Pressure sores (also known as bed sores) are among the most common nursing home injuries, as they effect up to 28 percent of the nursing home population. Many patients simply lack the physical strength to turn over in bed, while other patients suffering from dementia or other mental conditions may lose track of time and not turn over as often as they should. As a rule of thumb, patients should be turned every two hours to prevent bedsores.
Nursing homes have a duty to prevent pressure sores and other similar injuries. Negligence lawsuits are one of the best ways to bring these problems into the light, and they force nursing homes to change the way they do business. In addition, the victims are often entitled to significant monetary compensation, as well as punitive damages.
What Causes Pressure Sores?
Almost half of nursing home workers said they were so overworked that they sometimes, or often, omitted some necessary patient care duties, such as turning patients in bed, delivering medication on time, and even responding to emergencies. These situations are especially acute during nights, on weekends, and on other occasions when staffing levels are traditionally low.
Lack of turning is not the only cause of pressure sores. Poor hygiene or a poor diet often causes skin deterioration, making patients even more susceptible to injuries.
These injuries often cause intense pain and a lack of mobility. Additionally, they often cause serious side effects, including:
- Gangrene, and
Pressure sores are very difficult to treat and almost impossible to cure, especially if they are not dealt with promptly.
Nursing home owners have a duty to make their premises safe for their patients. To establish liability, victim/plaintiffs must prove that the nursing home knew, or should have known, about the dangerous condition.
The applicable rule comes from Anjou v. Boston Elevated Railway Company. In this case, the victim slipped on a banana peel at a Boston transit station, causing serious injury. Although the station owner denied any knowledge of the offending peel, the court noted that the peel had apparently been on the floor for some time, since witnesses said it was black and gritty. Therefore, according to the court, the owner should have known about the hazard and liability attached.
So, in nursing home abuse cases, the mere fact that a patient develops bedsores is evidence that the owner ignored the problem and is therefore responsible for damages. If your loved one developed bed sores in a nursing home in Georgia, please call attorney Laurie Robbins. She will help you fight for justice.