How Common Are Bedsores in Nursing Homes in South Carolina?

May 16, 2024 / RP Legal

South Carolina families with loved ones living in nursing homes trust the staff to care for their elderly relatives, providing them both safety and dignity in their sundown years. However, some facilities do not operate as they should, which leads to patient neglect and nursing home injuries.

Bedsores are among the most common results of poor patient care, and families trying to protect their loved ones may have questions. Our Columbia nursing home neglect attorneys at Rikard & Protopapas provide assistance and information regarding nursing home neglect so affected families can recover. Learn more about what neglect consists of and how bedsores can indicate it.

What Is Considered Nursing Home Neglect?

South Carolina nursing homes operate under several guidelines that define neglect. Nursing home neglect is not the same as abuse and may include a variety of symptoms, such as:

  • Bedsores
  • Dehydration
  • Poor hygiene
  • Errors in medication

While most neglect symptoms can lead to illness, bedsores in particular can form quickly and place nursing home residents in danger of infection and unnecessary pain. Because South Carolina nursing facilities must provide care that prevents problems like bedsores, our attorneys will hold employees responsible for the neglect that causes them.

How Common Are Bedsores in Nursing Homes?

Bedsores commonly occur in nursing homes when patients with little or no mobility sit or lie in one position for many hours. This causes pressure that causes sores to develop most often on the heels, tailbone, buttocks and hips.

The longer patients remain immobile in a bed or wheelchair and in the same position, the higher the risk is of developing bedsores.

Nursing home employees can prevent bedsores by shifting or repositioning their patients every few hours. This redistributes weight and prevents sores from forming.

What Causes Bedsores in Nursing Homes?

South Carolina nursing homes face bedsore injury claims for several reasons. Many facilities have staffing problems, including:

  • Not enough staff to cover the number of patients
  • Employees with limited training
  • Lax training guidelines
  • Overtaxed/overworked staff

These problems often lead to a reduction in care and increase the risk of bedsores among patients in South Carolina nursing homes.

What Are the Stages of Bedsore Development?

When bedsores go undiscovered, they can destroy the surrounding skin and tissue. These wounds develop in four stages.

Stage 1

When bedsores first form, the patch of affected skin may appear red and irritated. During the first stage, the skin may feel warmer than the surrounding area and burn or itch.

Stage 2

When bedsores in nursing homes go untreated once they form, they enter stage 2, cause further damage to the upper layer of the skin and affect the underlying tissue. This causes the upper layer to break down, which creates an open sore.

Stage 3

During this stage, the sore continues to damage skin and flesh down into the fatty tissue of the flesh. The open crater may show signs of infection and give off a foul odor.

Stage 4

Nursing home patients who suffer from Stage 4 bedsores may suffer severe pain and infection. During this stage, the crater may appear deep and work down to the bone. Patients might require surgery to remove dead tissue.

No matter the type or severity of bedsores, South Carolina families facing the results of nursing home neglect can turn to our experienced attorneys to hold the responsible parties liable.

Can Anyone File a Nursing Home Neglect Case in South Carolina?

When families discover bedsores and other signs of neglect in their loved ones, the first step is to alert the staff and document the injury. If the facility refuses to take responsibility, the legal guardians or medical guardians of the injured person can speak to our attorneys about filing a nursing home neglect case.

According to South Carolina state laws, individuals have up to three years from the date of the injury to file a legal claim in most cases. Acting quickly allows our attorneys to gather evidence and review facility reports and records as soon as they become available.

How Do Nursing Home Neglect Attorneys Assist With a Bedsore Injury Claim?

When nursing home patients suffer from severe bedsore wounds, their families may not know where to turn for assistance. Speaking to our bedsore attorneys can provide peace of mind and a variety of services to build a viable case against the responsible parties.

Assisting with the claim filing process

Those who want to file a case of neglect against a South Carolina nursing home may not know where to begin and have little experience with the process. Our attorneys guide all clients during the filing process and answer their questions so they feel confident about the legal choices they make.

Gathering evidence

Plaintiffs in a nursing home neglect case carry the burden of proof to satisfy judges and juries that any injuries, such as bedsores, occurred because the staff failed to provide proper care. Our attorneys gather photos and facility records and speak to witnesses to verify the neglect occurred.

Determining liability

More than one party may hold responsibility for patient injuries at a South Carolina nursing home. Several staff members may have committed negligent acts and the manager on duty might have failed to notice, which means courts may hold them both liable. Speaking to our attorneys can assist families with placing liability where it belongs.

Calculating the value of a bedsore injury case

When a bedsore occurs due to staff neglect at a nursing home, families of the victim may not know how to proceed with receiving compensatory damages like medical bills, the cost of future care, pain and suffering and wrongful death. Our legal staff can assist by assigning value to a case and fighting to ensure that affected families receive fair compensation.

Reach Out Today for Help With Your Nursing Home Neglect Case

How common are bedsores in nursing homes, and what can affected families do to protect their injured loved ones? Our attorneys at Rikard & Protopapas have the answers. Contact us today for a free consultation and let us fight for the compensation victims and their families deserve.

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