Either directly or indirectly, negligence almost always causes pressure ulcer injuries among nursing home residents. Generally, bedsores are not a problem if the patient turns over in bed at least once every two hours. But many nursing home residents are unable to turn themselves over. So, they are completely dependent on staffers.
If negligence, or a lack of care, caused the victim’s pressure ulcer injury, a Kansas City personal injury attorney can obtain compensation for the victim’s economic losses, such as medical bills, as well as noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Perhaps more importantly, legal claims bring attention to the nursing home’s negligence. So, your claim prevents other people from becoming victims.
Pressure ulcers often appear on the knees, thighs, ankles, and other bony areas of the body. The pressure of the body against the bed causes an ulcer. At first, this ulcer is little more than a bruise or red spot. If that pressure is alleviated immediately, these Stage I bedsores usually dissipate on their own.
However, if the pressure continues, the ulcer becomes serious and then life-threatening. At this point, the victim usually requires hospitalization.
Certain pre-existing conditions make some people more susceptible to bedsores. Malnourishment is a good example. If the victim has not been eating well, blood flow is already limited. Therefore, bedsores develop more quickly and worsen more quickly.
Pressure Ulcers and Negligence
At some point, understaffing usually contributes to bedsore injuries. As many as 90 percent of all long-term care facilities are understaffed to some extent.
Let’s return to the malnourishment example. Nursing homes must do more than serve quality food to residents. They must ensure that residents eat what they are served. A dietary professional should roam the tables during mealtime and make sure residents are eating. But in understaffed environments, this person is usually not there.
More commonly, resident rounds are the problem. Many facilities allow patient care technicians and other less-educated professionals to make nightly rounds. These individuals often do not notice early-stage bedsores. Moreover, many facilities send only one person to a room instead of two or three. One person might not be strong enough to effectively turn a resident in bed.
Generally, the nursing home owner is legally responsible for bedsore injuries. The respondeat superior doctrine states that employers are responsible for the negligent actions, or inactions, of their employees. Since out-of-state holding companies own many Missouri nursing homes, these claims are often quite complex.
Owner negligence usually causes residents’ pressure sore injuries. For a free consultation with an experienced nursing home injury lawyer in Kansas City, contact the Krause and Kinsman Law Firm. You have a limited amount of time to act.
Adam Krause is a personal injury, mass tort, business litigation, and employment discrimination attorney who practices in Kansas City, Missouri. He graduated from the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Law and has been practicing law for several years now. Adam Krause has made a career of taking complicated litigation and presenting it in the most elementary terms for a jury of your peers to understand. Learn more about his experience here.