El Paso Decubitus Ulcer Attorney
Legal Representation that You and Your Family Can Count On
When we talk about decubitus ulcers – also called bedsores or pressure sores – we generally talk about nursing home residents. And while nursing home residents are among the most commonly affected, the fact is that the problem of these preventable injuries spans much farther than the elderly or nursing home residents. Anyone who has limited mobility or who is confined to a bed or wheelchair is at risk for developing a decubitus ulcer.
At Brown, Christie & Green, our El Paso decubitus ulcer attorney represents clients of all ages. We understand that anyone in a hospital, rehabilitation facility, nursing home, or who has limited mobility can be susceptible to the dangers of decubitus ulcers. We also understand that these injuries are preventable, and are often a sign that you are not getting the care that you need and deserve.
Decubitus ulcers can develop on patients of all ages, with life-altering consequences.
No matter how old you are, a decubitus ulcer can have life-altering consequences. Ulcers are painful and uncomfortable at their best, and at their worst are life-threatening. No one in a healthcare setting should have to face these consequences when decubitus ulcers can be prevented.
If you or someone in your family has developed a decubitus ulcer while in the care of a healthcare setting, he or she may be the victim of medical malpractice, nursing home abuse, or neglect. Contact Brown, Christie & Green to learn more about how our El Paso decubitus ulcer can help you protect your health, and your legal rights.
- Poor blood circulation
- Immobility or limited mobility
- Poor nutrition or hydration
- Conditions like diabetes, heart or kidney disease
- Contact or friction (wheelchair, cast, bed, chair, etc.)
Victims of healthcare abuse deserve to have their legal rights and health protected.
10 Risk Factors for Developing Decubitus Ulcers
It is a common misconception that only elderly individuals are susceptible to developing decubitus ulcers – also called bedsores. The truth is that people of all ages can develop decubitus ulcers if the conditions are right. Check out these 10 risk factors for developing decubitus ulcers that patients of all ages, and their families, should be aware of.
Limited Mobility or Immobility
This is one of the most common risk factors for developing decubitus ulcers. When patients remain in the same position for extended periods of time, bony parts of the body can be starved of blood flow and oxygen.
Poor nutrition and hydration can increase the risk of developing a decubitus ulcer. When the body is not properly nourished, skin integrity and immune function can be compromised.
Patients with conditions that compromise circulation are at a greated risk of developing a decubitus ulcer. Poor circulation decreases blood flow to the skin and underlying tissue.
Neuropathy, or the inability to feel pain or pressure, is common in patients with spinal injuries, diabetes, or multiple sclerosis. Without the ability to feel pain or pressure, patients may develop wounds without recognizing it, which can lead to progression and delayed treatment.
Patients with darker skin may be more likely to develop decubitus ulcers, or suffer from progression, due to the wounds being more difficult to see. Patients with darker skin may not experience the same blanching, inflammation, or bruising effect as patients with lighter skin.
Poor support surfaces can increase a patient’s risk of developing a decubitus ulcer. Surfaces that are hard, unbalanced, or inappropriate for the patient can increase pressure and friction on bony prominences of the body.
When patients are in pain, they are less likely to move around and adjust their position on their own. This is why it is so important for caregivers to ensure that patients are assisted in repositioning at regular intervals.
The extremes of age are considered a risk factor for developing decubitus ulcers. Elderly patients are at an increased risk of developing decubitus ulcers because they often have limited mobility and may suffer from health conditions that compromise their immune system. Similarly, infants and children are at an increased risk of developing decubitus ulcers if they are not regularly repositioned as well. At these extremes, there are further concerns of hygiene and nutrition.
Patients with cognitive disorders are also at an increased risk of developing decubitus ulcers. Conditions like dementia can cause patients to not recognize discomfort. Mental disabilities can also affect a patient’s ability to recognize pain, signal the need to change positions, or ask for help.
Incontinence is another factor that is primarily associated with the extremes of age. Incontinence can expose skin to bacteria that can lead to infection – especially if an open decubitus ulcer is already developing. Infants in diapers are at risk, as are adults who rely on protective undergarments.