Orlando Pressure Ulcers Attorneys
Pressure ulcers, commonly referred to as bedsores, can cause serious long-lasting injury to a victim. Sadly, hospital patients and nursing home residents are at increased risk for developing pressure ulcers because they are often bed-ridden. According to a May, 2018 supplement to American Nurse Today, nearly 1.2 million cases of hospital-acquired bed sores and pressure injuries occurred in 2015 alone, and up to 60,000 Americans die each year due to these sores and injuries.
If you or a member of your family developed pressure ulcers while being cared for in a hospital, in a long-term care facility, or by other healthcare professionals, you may be able to hold the negligent parties accountable and collect compensation for your physical injuries, as well as your pain, suffering, and other losses.
The Orlando medical malpractice attorneys at Warner & Warner have extensive experience fighting for the rights of injured victims just like you. We are dedicated to holding negligent health care practitioners responsible for the damages they cause and want to make sure you are justly compensated for all of your injuries.
What Is a Pressure Ulcer?
Most people do not consciously think about their skin as an organ, yet it is the largest of all organs in the human body. If blood flow to your skin stops, the living tissue dies, causing a wound or sore. If that wound or sore develops over a bony prominence (an area where not much tissue separates bone from muscle such as the elbows, tailbone, hip bone, shoulder blades), a pressure ulcer occurs.
People who are confined to a bed are particularly susceptible to developing pressure ulcers because they are often unable to move without help. If their caregivers fail to provide them the much-needed assistance to move, they can quickly develop pressure ulcers that can become serious.
The severity of a pressure ulcer can range from a relatively minor, superficial wound to a gaping, cavernous wound 10 inches in diameter that goes through the muscle all the way to the spine. If a pressure ulcer becomes seriously infected, it can even lead to death. According to the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP) there are four pressure injury stages:
- Stage 1 – Non-Blanchable Erythema of Intact Skin. Intact skin with a localized area of non-blanchable erythema, which may appear differently in darkly pigmented skin. Presence of blanchable erythema or changes in sensation, temperature, or firmness may precede visual changes. Color changes do not include purple or maroon discoloration; these may indicate deep tissue pressure injury.
- Stage 2 – Partial-Thickness Skin Loss with Exposed Dermis. Partial-thickness loss of skin with exposed dermis. The wound bed is viable, pink or red, moist, and may also present as an intact or ruptured serum-filled blister. Adipose (fat) is not visible and deeper tissues are not visible. Granulation tissue, slough, and eschar are not present. These injuries commonly result from adverse microclimate and shear in the skin over the pelvis and shear in the heel.
- Stage 3 – Full-Thickness Skin Loss. Full-thickness loss of skin, in which adipose (fat) is visible in the ulcer and granulation tissue and epibole (rolled wound edges) are often present. Slough and/or eschar may be visible. The depth of tissue damage varies by anatomical location; areas of significant adiposity can develop deep wounds. Undermining and tunneling may occur. Fascia, muscle, tendon, ligament, cartilage and/or bone are not exposed.
- Stage 4 – Full-Thickness Skin and Tissue Loss. Full-thickness skin and tissue loss with exposed or directly palpable fascia, muscle, tendon, ligament, cartilage or bone in the ulcer. Slough and/or eschar may be visible. Epibole (rolled edges), undermining and/or tunneling often occur. Depth varies by anatomical location.
Who Is Responsible When a Pressure Ulcer Occurs?
When a patient receives proper care in a timely manner, pressure ulcers should not occur. Unfortunately, something as seemingly simple as failing to turn and reposition a bed-ridden patient on a regular basis can limit or stop blood flow to the patient’s skin. That, in turn, can cause a pressure ulcer.
Healthcare professionals responsible for providing appropriate care to a bed-bound patient may be held accountable for pressure ulcer injuries if their failure to provide that care caused or contributed to the development of the ulcer(s). Responsible parties may include:
- Long-term care facilities
- Home healthcare agencies
- Nursing staff
What Compensation Is Possible for Pressure Ulcer Victims?
If you or a loved one has suffered pressure ulcer injuries due to negligence, you may be able to take legal action against them to hold them liable and to obtain the financial compensation you deserve for physical injuries, pain, suffering and related losses.
This compensation could include payment for:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Diminished capacity to enjoy life
- Medical bills
- Other relevant damages recoverable under Florida law
When to Contact an Orlando Pressure Ulcers Attorney
A pressure ulcer can cause serious, even fatal, injuries to the victim. If you suffered injuries from a pressure ulcer, or you lost a family member because of one, you may be entitled to compensation from the responsible party or parties.
The Orlando pressure ulcer attorneys at Warner & Warner are committed to fighting for the rights of victims just like you. Let us put our extensive experience, resources, and dedication to work for you. We are committed to holding negligent health care professionals and facilities accountable for the physical and emotional injuries you have suffered and helping you collect the compensation you deserve for your injury-related expenses, pain, suffering and losses.
The Orlando pressure ulcer attorneys at Warner & Warner have the specialized experience and knowledge required to successfully prove and litigate negligence or medical malpractice lawsuits that stem from injuries caused by pressure ulcers. Call us at 321-972-1889 or contact us online to schedule a free case review.