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Bedsores often a sign of nursing home neglect in South Florida

Our Fort Lauderdale nursing home neglect lawyers are frequently asked about the presence of bedsores found on an elderly family member.

We recently reported on our South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog the case of a $114 million jury verdict resulting from the death of a nursing home resident in a fall. The 76-year-old woman was also suffering from bedsores when finally removed from the nursing home.

By some estimates, nearly one-quarter of all nursing home residents suffer from bed sores. Bedridden or minimally mobile residents are at high risk of developing bed sores if they are neglected by staff. Such residents should be repositioned every 2 hours to minimize rubbing and friction. Lubricants and padding may also help.

Bedsores, also called pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers, are prone to infection and can even be fatal if not properly treated.

The medical establishment in the United States recognizes four stages of ulcers:

Stage 1: Identified by superficial redness that does not subside when pressure is relieved.

Stage 2: Appearance of a blister or abrasion, ulcer extends into the dermis.

Stage 3: Characterized by large wounds that extend into the subcutaneous tissue. May require surgery.

Stave 4: Ulcers extending into the muscle, tendon and even the bone. Fewer than half of these ulcers heal within a year and only 62 percent ever heal.

Proper nutrition can play an important part in the prevention or healing of bed sores, as can infection control and proper patient care. Many nursing home residents are at high risk of mild bed sores. But failure to treat the sores, or failure to take corrective action, can lead to more serious sores and infections and are a sure sign of neglect.

The presence of bedsores is a warning sing of possible neglect or mistreatment and should be discussed with a Fort Lauderdale elder abuse attorney.

Freeman & Mallard is a personal injury and wrongful death law firm dedicated to helping nursing home residents in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and the Port St. Lucie/Fort Pierce areas. Call today for a free consultation. 1-800-529-2368.

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