Gangrene is a serious medical condition where tissue and muscle dies. It is caused by the reduction or loss of blood circulation to the affected area. Because the blood is not able to supply the tissue with oxygen, nutrients, and antibodies to fight infection, the tissue simply cannot survive. Gangrene mostly affects the appendages, like fingers and toes, and is most commonly associated with extreme cold. However, gangrene can and does occur in nursing homes, and can be a sign of neglect.
There can be many causes for the restriction or loss of blood flow in a nursing home resident. One of the principal causes is prolonged pressure to the skin. When a part of the body, often the buttocks, back, or heels, maintain constant contact with a mattress or wheelchair seat, the constant pressure blocks blood flow. When the blood flow is impacted, gangrene and infection may set it.
Still other causes can be medical conditions associated with the resident, including diabetes, obesity, and atherosclerosis, or plaque build up in the arteries. As you can imagine, all of these inhibit the bloods ability to deliver oxygen and nutrients to the body.
Treatment of gangrene includes debridement, in which the decayed or dead tissue is surgically removed, amputation of the infected appendage, oxygen therapy, and strong antibiotics.
Gangrene is a strong indication of wrongdoing by the nursing home, according to elder care watch dog group Long Term Care Community Coalition. This is because gangrene, particularly where the condition is caused by pressure, or bedsores, is the end result of a process that is avoidable, treatable, and reversible. Nursing homes are requires to monitor residents’ bodies and take appropriate steps to prevent gangrene.
Claims against nursing homes for gangrene are still not necessarily easy going. Almost always, the nursing home will point to the resident’s pre-existing medical conditions and point the blame elsewhere.
If your loved died or was seriously injured after developing gangrene 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 abuse 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.