Bedsores are an extremely common injury in nursing homes. Recent studies show that nearly thirty percent of nursing home residents will suffer from a bedsore at some time. Up to thirty-five percent of residents with a Stage II bedsore or higher will receive hospitalization.
However, simply because bedsores are common does not mean that they are unavoidable.
Federal regulations place bedsores into two categories: Avoidable and unavoidable. An avoidable bedsore is one that develops because the nursing home failed to do one of the following:
- Properly assess the specific resident’s individual risk for development of bedsores;
- Implement interventions to prevent the development of bedsores; or
- Monitor and evaluate the preventative measures.
An unavoidable bedsore is classified as a bedsore that develops despite these measures being taken by the facility, and usually where the is a chronic skin problem.
In short, do not listen to any nursing home staff that tells you that a bedsore on your loved one “was an unavoidable accident.” The fact of the matter is that bedsores are almost always avoidable. In fact, CMS no longer reimburses hospitals for treatment of new pressure sores in Medicare patients.
If a nursing home’s actions resulted directly in the development of a bedsore on your loved one, then you will likely have the right to file a lawsuit against that facility. Over 17,000 such lawsuits are filed each year, and this number is expected to grow since the CMS’ new rules prohibiting arbitration.
In a bedsore lawsuit, the nursing home, individual staff, and physicians may be named as defendants. You may seek compensation for pain and suffering during the development and treatment of the wound. You may also be awarded compensation for medical bills incurred. This alone can be quite substantial. The average cost of treating a Stage IV pressure ulcer is $125,000. In Georgia, you may recover for these expenses even where private health insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid has paid these amounts.
Initiating a bedsore case and recovering maximum value can be difficult. It is important that you being investigating and looking for evidence as early as possible. If you observe skin wounds on your loved one, you are encouraged to take pictures. Ask the staff what measures are being taken to treat the wound. Request documentation and skin assessments. Be vigilant.
If your loved developed bedsores at a nursing home or assisted living facility, and you are wondering if you have a claim, then please, feel free to call and speak to one of our experienced Georgia nursing home neglect lawyers today. Our consultations are always free. If you would like more information about this topic, be sure to click on our other videos, or better yet, click the subscribe button to subscribe to our YouTube channel. Thank you.