Dallas Pressure Ulcer Attorney
Our Healthcare Negligence Attorney Works With Your Family to Pursue Justice
There is no medical treatment that prevents the formation of pressure ulcers. Instead, preventing pressure ulcers is part of clinical guidelines and the medical standards of care. Every patient has the right to quality healthcare that meets these standards. If you believe that you or a loved one have developed a pressure ulcer due to substandard care, contact our Dallas pressure ulcer attorney right away.
Quality care that meets accepted standards is not something that you pay for. Rather, it is something that you are legally entitled to. Preventable pressure ulcers or medical mistakes cost patients and their loved ones unimaginable pain and loss. Patients and their loved ones should not bear the burden of substandard care alone.
They should work with a Dallas pressure ulcer attorney to fight for their rights.
Information about Pressure Ulcers
A pressure ulcer forms when the skin on bony parts of the body has been pressed against a surface for too long. Under the weight of the patient’s own body weight, the skin of the affected area starts to show irritation as the blood flow is interrupted. This redness or irritation should be immediately recognized by responsible caregivers and action should be taken to keep pressure off this skin to allow the blood flow to return.
If blood flow and oxygen are not restored to the inflamed area, the pressure ulcer will progress. Eventually, blisters or craters begin to form on the outer layers of skin. The skin has been under pressure and without adequate blood flow for so long that the outer layers of the skin have begun to die. Clearly, this is a very painful injury, which left untreated will progress into a truly horrifying one.
If you notice blisters or shallow craters on your bed-bound or wheel-chair bound family member, this could be an early stage pressure ulcer. An experienced Dallas pressure ulcer attorney knows that the majority of pressure ulcers are preventable. If you notice wounds developing or not healing, contact the Dallas pressure ulcer attorney at Brown, Christi & Green.
Pressure ulcers are often a sign that your loved one is not getting the care that he or she deserves.
Unfortunately, even if family members notice wounds and get help, many victims of hospital or nursing home neglect will experience third and fourth stage bedsores because the wounds were allowed to progress without proper care for so long. At these stages, wounds are horrifically painful and can be fatal.
As with any open wound, infection is a concern. For a patient with a weakened immune system, an infection could cause overwhelming sepsis and death. Even a non-fatal infection will increase the cost of your loved one’s care. These additional costs could have been prevented by adequate preventative care.
If your loved one has developed a pressure ulcer, he or she has suffered enough. They, and your family, should not be responsible for the cost of a preventable injury. Contact the Dallas pressure ulcer attorney at Brown, Christie & Green to evaluate the possibility that your loved one is the victim of hospital or nursing home abuse or neglect.
- Skin is inflamed, red, or warm to the touch
- The affected area is itchy or painful
- There is an obvious blister surrounded by redness
- There is a crater with an open wound
- Inflamed skin appears to be dying or "sloughing" off
Early recognition is the key to treating pressure ulcers properly. Appropriate treatment reduces the risk of infection and complications.
Nursing Home Bedsore Case Highlights Importance of Identifying and Treating Wounds
At Brown, Christie & Green, our Dallas pressure ulcer attorney manages a wide array of healthcare negligence claims. One of the more common claims we handle are pressure ulcer cases. These cases can be among the most heart breaking, as pressure ulcers are often preventable.
Sadly, a majority of the pressure ulcer cases we manage include appalling factors like caregiver negligence, failure to diagnose, or failure to get proper and timely treatment. Consider the following example case and how it highlights the importance of early identification and treatment of wounds.
Nursing Home Bedsore Case Facts
In May 2013, a patient presented to a Dallas nursing home for assistance with long-term care, including assistance with daily living activities, hygiene, and mobility. At the time, the patient was bed-bound, but an assessment indicated that his skin was in good condition and the patient was at a low risk of developing pressure ulcers (bedsores) – a factor which makes this nursing home bedsore case even more devastating. The day after the patient arrived at the nursing home, he fell while attempting to move from the toilet to his wheelchair. A staff member found him on the floor and the patient was transferred to a Dallas hospital where he underwent spinal surgery.
Upon readmission to the nursing home, it was noted that there was redness in the patient’s sacral area, but a full skin assessment was not performed. In July 2013, nursing notes identified “sacral multiple wounds”, but did not identify the extent or “stage” of the wounds. Other nursing records further identified a “coccyx ulcer”, but again did not suggest any measurement, descriptions, or assessments. Concurrent nursing notes indicated no skin issues were present.
Within one week, a wound care specialist identified a Stage III pressure ulcer presenting slough and drainage. Another week later, the patient was transferred to the same Dallas hospital for lumbar surgery. Medical assessments at that time indicated a pressure ulcer causing the patient constant, aching pain.
In August 2013, the patient was transferred back to the same nursing home for rehabilitative care following surgery. At the time of readmission, the patient was diagnosed with an “unstageable” sacral pressure ulcer. Unstageable indicates that the tissue damage and depth were so severe that the wound could not be identified beyond being Stage III or IV. Again, the nursing home failed to conduct a skin assessment at the time of readmission. Within one week following readmission, the patient’s overall health was deteriorated to a point where hospitalization was necessary.
Upon transfer back to the Dallas hospital, the patient was diagnosed with a Stage IV sacral pressure ulcer with bone exposure and thick drainage. The hospital notes indicated a “necrotic foul-smelling boggy area” in the wound. Additionally, the patient was diagnosed as being malnourished.
The patient underwent significant surgery, VAC, and antibiotic therapy, and debridement to treat the infected pressure ulcer over the next few months. The patient’s overall deteriorated health prevented surgery to close the wound. Ultimately, the treatment failed and the patient passed away in January 2014.
Nursing Home Bedsore Case Attorneys
Texas nursing homes and hospitals are bound by a duty and standards of care to their patients and residents. When these duties and standards are not met, the patients suffer. In this case, the patient suffered a painful existence for months before passing away. What makes this case even more tragic is the fact that the wound could have been treated, and the complications prevented, had caregivers upheld the standards of care.
There is no doubt that a victim’s family will suffer intense emotional and financial trauma during a situation like that discussed above. That is why our nursing home abuse attorneys at Brown, Christie & Green do what we do. Our goal is to help families get the justice and compensation they deserve when healthcare negligence causes them harm.
To find out more about how Brown, Christie & Green can help you, fill out our online form to request a free consultation.