Improper Wound Care in Nursing Homes
Nursing facilities provide a variety of personal care services that are necessary for day-to-day activity such as getting in or out of a bed, bathing, using the bathroom, getting dressed, and eating. These facilities also provide many medical care services or skilled care, which is to be performed by those with the necessary skills and training. One common function of skilled care involves wound care, which may involve pressure sores, ulcers, burns, surgical entry sites, fistulas, tube entry sites, and tumor erosion points.
Wounds, in simplistic terms, are a failure in the protective properties of the skin. When management of a wound is necessary, the physician will order the process of treatment to be executed by the facility.
Classifications of Wounds
- Primary: Wounds that use “stitches”, where either sutures or staples are used to join the skin.
- Secondary: Cannot be joined with sutures of staples, or shouldn’t be, to allow for treatment in preventing infection.
Levels of Care for Wounds
- Basic: Care by protecting the wound, keeping it clean, moist, and free from pressure.
- Advanced: More complex wound care dealing with open, deeper wounds which may need packing.
- Sharp Wound Debridement: Involves removing tissue while avoiding pain and further cuts.
In nursing homes, wounds can stem from surgery, diabetes (ulcers), a severe burn, or those incurred by falling etc. “Bedsores” or pressure ulcers are commonly a sign of nursing home staff negligence, as they result from residents sitting stationary in their bed for too long. Nursing facilities are well aware of the need to rotate or reposition residents in their beds; however, often in efforts to save time or from simple carelessness, these sores develop. When a bedsore(s) is identified, the staff will initiate treatment to begin the healing process and avoid infection. When an elderly person has a wound that becomes infected, the ramifications are much more severe.
Potential Signs of Infection
- There is liquid seeping from the wound
- The wound has become highly sensitive
- The surrounding area becomes swollen
- Unpleasant odors are emanating from the wound
When those assigned to care for a loved one in a long-term care facility are determined to be negligent or careless, often you may blame yourself and/or be unsure of what course of action to pursue. When you make the call to The Husband and Wife Law Team at Breyer Law Offices, P.C. you will begin the process of securing compensation for the anguish and suffering that has been endured. To obtain representation from our Phoenix nursing home neglect attorneys, to hold nursing homes accountable, call (602) 267-1280 today.
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Confidentially reviewed by Attorney Mark Breyer