Failure to Prevent Bedsores
Bedsores are serious, and they can be a warning sign that a nursing home patient is being neglected in multiple ways. Often, they can be prevented through repositioning and proper care of a resident. If you notice a failure to prevent bedsores at a loved one's nursing home, you may have a basis to sue for damages. At the Hartsoe Law Firm, Knoxville nursing home negligence attorney Mark Hartsoe can investigate the facts of your situation and provide vigorous advocacy in a claim or lawsuit. He represents victims and their families in personal injury cases throughout East Tennessee.Failing to Prevent Bedsores Causes Serious Injuries
Bedsores are caused when there is too much pressure on one particular part of the body, usually the skin over the tailbone, hips, elbows, or another bony part of the area that is unprotected by muscle and fat. Nursing home personnel should be taking precautions to prevent bedsores in bedridden residents, or those whose movement is significantly restricted. Precautions include repositioning residents every two hours, whether they are in wheelchairs or beds, keeping residents clean, changing the bed sheets often enough, washing patients carefully and moisturizing their skin, and making sure that clothing fits well. Appropriate cleaning should occur after a resident goes to the bathroom.
Often, however, nursing homes fail to adequately train or staff their facilities. Staff members may not understand the importance of repositioning and other precautionary steps. They may not be trained appropriately to handle these matters, or to supervise patients to ensure that they are doing range of motion exercises. In other cases, there is inadequate staffing, which is a problem at nursing homes across the country.
Both state and federal laws mandate that residents receive adequate care, and often a failure to prevent bedsores is a sign that a nursing home resident is not receiving adequate care. Either a resident or a family member can hold the nursing home liable for its negligence in failing to prevent bedsores, as well as its failure to comply with any other laws that may have resulted in inadequate staffing or administration, which in turn resulted in a resident getting bedsores.
Inadequate staffing can involve too few total staff members, but it can also arise from not having enough nurses. Furthermore, a nurse's deviation from the accepted standards and practices of the medical community can result in a failure to prevent bedsores. Nursing homes are supposed to comply with federal and state regulations. However, if the nursing staff or a physician deviates from the accepted standards and practices of the medical community in providing treatment to a resident at risk of getting bedsores, it will be necessary for your attorney to comply with the complicated procedural rules associated with medical malpractice. Most nursing home negligence cases in Tennessee require plaintiffs to comply with the medical malpractice rules.
Damages that you may be able to recover by bringing a lawsuit for a negligent failure to prevent bedsores include any economic and noneconomic losses that flow from the bedsores. When surgery is required to treat bedsores, the medical bills can be particularly expensive. These are economic losses that you can recover through a lawsuit for a negligent failure to prevent bedsores. In some cases, it is necessary to pay for a resident's rehabilitation and physical therapy as well. Bedsores are extremely painful, and it may be possible to recover compensation for pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life. The value of these damages depends on the harm that the jury believes naturally flows from the severity of the bedsores that the resident suffered. When a nursing home's actions or omissions are especially egregious, it may also be possible to recover punitive damages. These are damages awarded to deter future similar misconduct and punish the wrongdoer.Hire a Nursing Home Negligence Attorney in the Knoxville Area
If you are concerned about harm arising from bedsores in a nursing home or an assisted living facility in Knoxville or surrounding areas, you should consult an experienced nursing home negligence lawyer. Contact the Hartsoe Law Firm by calling (865) 524-5657 or using our online form. We represent people in Clinton, Oak Ridge, Alcoa, Louisville, Maryville, LaFollette, Tazewell, Newport, Crossville, Jamestown, Rutledge, Greeneville, Morristown, Chattanooga, Dandridge, Jefferson City, Strawberry Plains, Madisonville, Lenoir City, Loudon, Athens, and other communities in Anderson, Blount, Campbell, Claiborne, Cocke, Cumberland, Fentress, Grainger, Greene, Hamblen, Hamilton, Jefferson, Knox, Monroe, Loudon, McMinn, and Bradley Counties.