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New York City Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Bed Sore Negligence is an Avoidable Life-Threatening Condition

By Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP. posted in Hospital Negligence on Saturday, November 14, 2015.

Bed sores, also referred to as pressure sores or pressure ulcers, comprise an area of damaged skin that turns into an open wound. They tend to develop faster than the time they take to heal, especially in the case of diabetics. They are painful, debilitating, and have fatal consequences if not treated on time. Bed sores occur in different levels of severity, according to which their stage is graded:

Bed sores, also referred to as pressure sores or pressure ulcers, comprise an area of damaged skin that turns into an open wound. They tend to develop faster than the time they take to heal, especially in the case of diabetics. They are painful, debilitating, and have fatal consequences if not treated on time. Bed sores occur in different levels of severity, according to which their stage is graded:

· 1st Grade - skin discoloration

· 2nd Grade - appearance of blisters due to partial thickness skin loss

· 3rd Grade - complete thickness skin loss, appearing like a deep crater due to damage to subcutaneous tissue

· 4th Grade - complete thickness skin loss accompanied by extensive necrosis that extends to the underlying tissue

Unfortunately, bedsores formed as a result of negligence by the hospital staff is a common happening.

Causes of Pressure Sores

Pressure sores are a direct result of unrelieved and constant pressure along with distortion of the skin and its underlying tissue. When the patient is inactive and immobile for long periods of time, the pressure causes the blood flow to the skin to get disrupted.

Without sufficient reception of blood, the skin faces a dearth of nutrient and oxygen. Eventually, the skin breaks down and forms ulcers. Patients who suffer certain health conditions that obstruct their basic mobility are the most vulnerable to developing bedsores, which may grow in care homes or in hospitals.

Treating Pressure Sores

Pressure sores are preventable conditions that can spare the patient a significant amount of pain, medication, and other complications. Nursing staff and physicians must assess the patient's risks of developing bed sores and pursuing the appropriate care procedures to minimize or erase the risks of developing bedsores. Once the possibility or early stages of pressure sores are identified, the patient's assessment must be furthered and contingency measures must be immediately put in place to prevent the bedsore from worsening.

Complications by Bed Sores

Bedsores can multiply the patient's health complications by causing:

· Bone & Joint Infections - damage to the cartilage and tissues surrounding bones at joints, reducing the functioning ability of limbs

· Cellulitis - An infection of the skin and its adjoining soft tissues

· Sepsis - Bacteria entering the blood stream through open wounds and broken skin, that can progress rapidly and become fatal

· Cancer - the development of squamous cell carcinoma from non-healing and chronic wounds (called Marjolin ulcers)

Bed Sores by Medical Negligence

Patients and families often tend to believe that immobility or reduced mobility cause bedsores inevitably. However, in the vast majority of cases, bedsores are preventable. They can and should be avoided with the right care by the nursing staff and healthcare providers.

When medical negligence leads to the development of bedsores, especially at irreversible levels, the patient or his family may be entitled to claim a compensation for medical malpractice and wrongful death (if the patient died due to unattended bedsores and subsequent care).

Reach out to our New York City medical malpractice attorneys to weigh your best options for legal action. Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff, & Wolff (RMFW) have law offices situated in Astoria, Queens, New York City, and two offices in Brooklyn.

Our attorneys understand your agony and RMFW will come through for you in this situation. You may not trust anyone right now but you can trust us. We have won millions of dollars for our clients and you can be added to this exquisite list if your case is viable. The first consultation is free.

Call us at 212 697 9280 to schedule our first meeting.

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