As we have shared on numerous occasions, elder abuse is a serious problem that affects many of Los Angeles’ senior citizens. A common, yet often undetected symptom of elder abuse or nursing home abuse can take the form of a bedsore. Bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers, are skin lesions caused by a number of factors, including friction, temperature, and unrelieved pressure. When undetected or untreated, bedsores can cause extensive damage to soft tissue and muscle, as well as to the underlying bones, ligaments tendons and nerves. Immobile residents of residential care facilities, and even in-home care, are particularity susceptible to developing bedsores.
California and federal law clearly states that caregivers and nursing home operators owe a duty of care to those in their charge. If a nursing home or caregiver is negligent in their duty to care for the elderly resident, a civil lawsuit is possible. You could potentially bring an elder abuse suit with your loved one. Discuss your situation with an experienced nursing home abuse attorney.
As bedsores worsen as they are left untreated, potentially resulting in severe long term damage to the sufferer, it is important that they are treated quickly and properly. There are different ‘levels’ of bedsores, with stage 4 being the worst. According to the National Institute for Health, the hospital bill for a patient with stage IV bed sores generally costs around $130,000 and quite often, the sufferer is left with long term or permanent medical disabilities.
Common causes of bedsores include:
- Failure to routinely change an elderly or immobile patient’s position.
- Failure to provide proper hygiene (i.e. cleaning a resident’s body; changing soiled sheets and clothing).
- Failure to provide proper inspection of bedsores for individuals, especially those who are at a heightened risk.
- Failure to provide for proper nutrition to the elderly patient.
This list is not exhaustive. The nursing home in which your elderly loved one is a resident could be providing care that below the accepted standard of care, putting that senior citizen at risk.
The failure to provide the medical or nursing care necessary to prevent serious medical and health issues, including the development of bed sores can be a violation of state and federal elder abuse and elder neglect laws. For more information, or to discuss your potential Los Angeles elder abuse case with an attorney, contact the aggressive lawyers at BIKLAW today.