Gangrene is a condition in which tissue decays and dies from lack of blood. Blood carries oxygen and nutrients to the cells, so when blood flow is cut off, the affected part of the body can no longer survive. Amputations as a result of gangrene number in the tens of thousands each year in the United States, and a percentage of those occur to nursing home residents, and among those, many are the result of neglect.
Gangrene often develops in nursing home residents suffering from bedsores. Bedsores, otherwise known as decubitus ulcers or pressure sores, occur when prolonged pressure to a particular point on the body causes blood flow restriction to the underlying tissue. Gangrene may also occur when simple skin wounds become infected, which in turn causes tissue decay.
Gangrene symptoms include dry, shriveled skin that can change from blue to black. The skin can be cold and feel numb to the resident. As such, the condition may or may not be painful, depending on the damage to the nerves. Symptoms of infection due to gangrene include low blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, confusion, and shortness of breath.
Nursing homes are required to continually assess each resident for wounds, and where wounds are observable, take steps to avoid gangrene. As such, the development of gangrene is a good indication of lack of proper care. According to George Hartoularos national elder care watchdog group Long Term Care Community Coalition, gangrene prevention requires only “a modicum of attention.”
Still, lawsuits against nursing homes for gangrene complications can be problematic. Almost always, the nursing home will blame the blood flow restriction on the resident. For example, diabetes, obesity, and clogged arteries may all restrict blood flow, increasing the likelihood of gangrene.
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.