Pressure ulcers are very common in long term care facilities. According to a recent study, nearly 455,000 new pressure ulcer cases were reported. In fact, the CDC estimates that between 2 and 28 percent of nursing home residents suffer from a pressure ulcer at some point.
Still, do not be mistaken. Although bedsores are common, this absolutely does not mean that they cannot or should not be prevented.
Federal law classifies bedsores as either avoidable or unavoidable. Avoidable bedsores occur where the facility fails to properly assess the resident’s risk of bedsore development, implement the appropriate preventative measures (like consistent repositioning), or update and evaluate the prevention plan. Unavoidable bedsores are those that occur in spite of these efforts by the nursing home.
In short, do not accept a story from nursing home staff that a bed sore on your loved one “was a freak occurrence.” The preventability of bedsores is known and their occurrence is almost always avoidable. In fact, CMS no longer reimburses hospitals for treatment of new pressure sores in Medicare patients.
A nursing home that causes an avoidable bedsore to develop may be sued in a court of law. In fact, some studies estimate over 17,000 bedsore lawsuits are filed each year. While almost 90% are settled out of court or are arbitrated.
Defendants in a pressure ulcer lawsuit may be not only the nursing home, but individual staff, physicians, and other specific providers. You or your loved one will be entitled to compensation for out-of-pocket expenses and incurred medical expenses. In fact, the average price of managing a full-thickness pressure ulcer is $70,000.00. This cost goes up the more severe the pressure ulcer. Your loved one may also be entitled to compensation for actual pain and suffering.
Prosecuting a pressure ulcer case and getting the maximum amount of compensation under the law is difficult. If you observe pressure ulcers on your loved one, begin your own investigation immediately. Take photos. Ask questions. Review the nursing home’s most recent assessment. Does it appear that staff are doing what they say? Be as proactive as possible.
If your loved developed pressure ulcers at a nursing home 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.