New York City Bedsores Lawyer
According to the Journal of Wound Management & Prevention, bedsores are one of the most common health conditions that exist in the U.S. Technically known as decubitus ulcers but also called pressure ulcers or pressure sores, the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality estimates that more than 2.5 million people develop bedsores in the U.S. every year.
A Bedsore is a progressive condition that ranges from painful to life-threatening. Hospitals and nursing homes can prevent bedsores from ever forming in the first place with appropriate patient care. When bedsores do develop, they must be promptly diagnosed and properly treated before they cause serious illness or death.
Personal injury and medical malpractice attorney Michael Gunzburg takes New York City hospitals and nursing homes to task for their negligence in allowing bedsores to surface and for their failures to promptly diagnose and treat bedsores to keep them from turning into severe health conditions. If you or a loved one developed a bedsore during your New York hospital stay that caused you unnecessary pain and suffering or created a serious health condition that required further medical intervention, call Michael Gunzburg, P.C., in New York City at 212-725-8500.
What Causes Bedsores?
Nursing home residents might be bedridden or immobile, spending hours of their day in bed or a wheelchair. Hospital patients, likewise, spend the majority of their hospital stay lying in bed. Patients may be especially immobile and unable to leave their beds following surgery.
Bedsores are caused by prolonged contact between the skin and another surface, compounded by the body’s own pressure exerted on those points of contact. Bedsores are most likely to form, therefore, on the buttocks, back, elbows, head or ears. It is essential that nursing staff or orderlies reposition a nursing home or hospital patient regularly throughout the day and night. Unless a high-density foam mattress is being used, medical standards require that patients should be shifted or turned at least every four hours. Patients suffering from weight loss, malnutrition or dehydration could be especially susceptible to bedsores and should be monitored even more closely.
Bedsores: Stages and Complications
A bedsore is a progressive condition. If a bedsore is identified and treated at its earliest stages and kept from progressing, serious complications and consequences can be largely avoided. Bedsores are classified in the following four progressive stages:
Stage I – The skin may be tender or painful. The skin is red or otherwise discolored but is not broken.
Stage II – The skin is broken. The sore is painful as the open wound extends deeper into further skin layers.
Stage III – The ulcer penetrates through all layers of skin and reaches the layer of subcutaneous fat.
Stage IV – The deep penetration of the bedsore exposes muscles, tendons and bones.
In addition to the wound itself, bedsores put a patient at risk of other severe and life-threatening complications, including:
Cellulitis – Cellulitis is a bacterial infection of the connective tissue and fat layers underneath the skin, which can occur in a Stage III or Stage IV bedsore. The type of bacteria could include antibiotic-resistant and potentially fatal “superbugs” such as MRSA.
Joint infections – The infection erodes cartilage and bone in the infected joint. Treatment includes draining infected fluid in the joint, which might be done with a needle, arthroscopic surgery, or open surgery.
Osteomyelitis – A stage IV bedsore can result in a bone infection that might need to be treated surgically, including amputation of an infected limb.
Sepsis – Any bedsore beyond Stage I puts the patient at risk of a bacterial infection entering the bloodstream. Sepsis occurs when the immune system initiates an inflammatory response to an infected deep wound, which can cause septic shock, organ failure or death.
Cancer – Bedsores are linked to the development of a deadly skin cancer known as squamous cell carcinoma.
Bedsores Simply Should Not Happen. Call Michael Gunzburg in New York City for Justice, Care and Compensation
If you or your loved one developed a bedsore in a New York hospital or nursing home, chances are that the negligence of the staff is responsible. Our firm takes the time to figure out what happened and hold hospitals and nursing homes accountable for their lack of training, supervision, or the negligence or incompetence of their staff. Call Michael Gunzburg, P.C., to investigate a hospital and hold them liable for preventable bedsore injuries in Manhattan, The Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens.