The most recent statistics report that across America, over 1.4 million individuals reside in nursing homes. As of 2014 there were almost 16,000 nursing homes with this number steadily rising. In Illinois alone there are 1,200 long-term care facilities serving more than 100,000 residents.
Nursing homes are heavily regulated and frequently inspected by the state’s public health department in accordance with the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act and guidelines to ensure safe and dignified care for those in nursing homes. However, despite these efforts many facilities do not comply with these care standards. One of the most common violations is the improper and negligent care of immobile patients.
Many nursing home patients at some point, for a period of time or permanently, may be required to use a wheelchair or be confined to a bed due to health conditions. If the individual struggles with mobility and is unable to move on his or her own, it is of the utmost important that the nursing home ensures the individual is frequently moved and rotated to prevent the formation of bedsores. Bedsores develop very quickly thus, nursing home employees should not only routinely move immobile residents but also conduct frequent inspections to catch and treat any bedsores that are present.
A bedsore is an injury to the skin and tissue caused by prolonged pressure on the skin. There are four categories of bedsores dependent on their severity ranging from mild to deadly. At all stages bedsores are incredibly painful and unpleasant for the victim. In the beginning stages a bedsore will resemble a blister, with the skin appearing discolored and tender to the touch. However, as the bedsore progresses the skin will open creating a deep wound that may even expose muscle, bone or tendons. At this point layers and layers of skin have been damaged and the tissue will begin to rot and die morphing into a deep tissue injury. If a bedsore is ignored and progresses to this stage, the patient will be exposed to life threatening infections not to mention extreme and unbearable pain. Bedsores can become infected at any stage, which is why vigilant monitoring and care is necessary.
Whether it is understaffing, improper training, or just plain carelessness that results in improper care and the patient’s development of bedsores it is considered negligence. If nursing homes follow proper procedure there is absolutely no reason bedsores should develop and progress to these dangerous and painful stages.
The employees, as well as the facility, can be held liable for any and all injuries that resulted from bedsores, as well as the pain and suffering you or your loved one has experienced.
If you have questions about the care and treatment your loved one received in a Chicago nursing home, call the personal injury attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. today and let our team provide you with a free case consultation.
Prior Blog Entry:
Winter Weather Increases Risks of Slip-and-Fall Accidents in Chicago, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published January 7, 2017.
Nursing Home Care, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, published July 6, 2016.
Nursing Homes, Illinois Department of Public Health.
Bedsores (pressure sores), Mayo Clinic, published December 13, 2014.