Personal Injury Attorney Ben Schwartz explains that it may be possible to sue if you get pressure sores while in a nursing home.
Hey folks, I’m Attorney Ben Schwartz,
Today we are going to do a quick video to answer a question from Cam in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Cam wrote in and said, “I keep seeing ads for nursing home lawyers talking about pressure sores, is that really a thing that people sue about? Can you do a video and talk about this topic?”
Cam that is really a great question, I have seen these ads too. Essentially you will see these tv ads, they tend to be for like Baltimore and Philadelphia Law Firms where they’re talking about if you or a family member were in a nursing home and ended up with a pressure sore. You may have a right to receive compensation for your injuries.
I agree, before I became an attorney and knew anything about it, I would see this and think, ‘Is that really the type of thing that people sue about, getting like a sore in a nursing home?’ Now that I have had these cases and I have seen what they are about. I can tell you a little bit more information and I do think it is terribly serious stuff. Basically here is what this is about, people go into nursing homes and sometimes these are older folks that go into a long-term care situation, a Long-Term Care facility.
Sometimes these are folks who are maybe just like in a rehab center for a month or six weeks or two months, maybe after a hip replacement surgery or something like that. Either way, if you are a patient in a nursing home, you cannot be permitted to just lay in bed without moving, without shifting, without turning or moving around in any way. The reason is that if you are permitted to lay there in one position all day, you are putting pressure on certain spots, you know where you have what’s called bony prominences where your tailbone is or your sit bones or the bones in your back.
If you lay in that one spot that bone pushes down on the bed and puts pressure on the muscle and the fascia in the skin and it creates a situation where there is a lack of blood flow. You can develop a sore from the pressure. It is a pressure ulcer or what is called a decubitus ulcer. The problem with this is these types of sores, these types of wounds get bigger and bigger and bigger. They can get very deep. They can go all the way down to the bone and they can be very, very, hard to heal. They can be extremely painful for the patient.
To make matters worse, if they get infected, the infection can spread throughout the body. It can go into the patient’s blood and that is called sepsis where they’ve got sort of a system-wide infection. It can actually kill the patient. So, when you see these tv ads for law firms talking about nursing homes and pressure sores or pressure ulcers what they are basically saying is nursing homes are required to keep the patient moving. Even if the patient can’t move themselves, they are supposed to move that patient around, turn the patient, go in and move them around every so often in order to avoid getting pressure sores. If they don’t do that, that is negligence.
It would give you as the patient or the family member of a patient the right to sue the doctors, nurses, and nursing home itself for failing to do what was reasonable and necessary for the patient in their care. What these law firms are saying is there is a need, if you have this happen to you or a family member, there is a need for you to contact a law firm because if no one is forcing the nursing homes to take care of the patients, if there are no consequences for failing to turn the patients it’s just going to happen over and over.
I think yes, it really is something that people sue over. I think it’s very important that if you have this happen to you or if this happens to your family member, I think it’s very important that you get a consultation with an attorney that handles nursing home negligence cases in your jurisdiction. I think it can be a disastrous type of event to have one of these pressure ulcers or pressure sores. So that is my view of it.
I hope that answers the question. That is a great question Cam and I think you for sending me the question. If you have a question, if you are watching this video and you have a question and you think to yourself, this question is something that I should send to Ben Schwartz so he can do an explainer video. Send me an email, thanks for watching!