Bedsores - Treatment
The proper treatment of bedsores can make a huge difference to a nursing home resident's outcome. A nursing home resident's doctor should look carefully at the skin to determine how bad the damage caused by the pressure ulcer is. They will determine the level of severity as part of figuring out an appropriate course of treatment. If you were harmed or a loved one died as a result of a nursing home's failure to provide proper treatment of a bedsore, you should consult an experienced Knoxville nursing home negligence attorney. At the Hartsoe Law Firm, P.C., we understand how to establish nursing home liability in an East Tennessee court. We also can evaluate whether to pursue additional claims in connection with an improperly treated bedsore, such as a medical malpractice lawsuit.Inadequate Treatment of Bedsores
Once the nursing home staff realize that a resident has a bedsore, they should immediately seek medical attention for the bedsore and provide accurate information to the doctor to ensure that the resident can be properly treated. The doctor will examine the resident's pressure ulcer and the skin around it to figure out how severe the damage is. They will also ask questions of both the resident and staff members, such as the level of pain, when the bedsore first appeared, whether the resident has had past bedsores and how they were treated, whether any routine was used to change positions, which other medical conditions the resident has and which treatments are being used, what their daily diet and water intake is, and which kinds of care have been provided.
The doctor will assign a level to the pressure ulcer to determine which treatment would be best. A blood test may be necessary to make sure that there is no infection and determine other aspects of the resident's health.
The doctor will address wound treatment, pain control, and preventing an infection or addressing any infection that is already there. In some cases, it is necessary to bring multiple doctors and health care providers on board to address a severe bedsore, including primary care physicians, nurses, neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons, dermatologists, dieticians, occupational therapists, and physical therapists.
When treating a bedsore, pressure must be reduced on the affected area. This can include repositioning the resident or using supports such as pillows or cushions to prevent a resident from experiencing pressure in the area of the bedsore. This can be challenging because staff will need to make sure that the resident does not develop another pressure sore in another location. It is important for the resident to be repositioned often.
How deep and severe the bedsore is will determine the care for it. Care will usually involve cleaning and dressing the wound. Bandages can help keep the wound moist and act as a barrier against infection. The bandage may include a treated covering, film, gauze, gel, or foam. Sometimes a combination of these is used. Additionally, infected and dead or damaged tissue needs to be removed through debridement. Debridement can involve flushing the wound or cutting out the damaged tissue.
It may also be necessary for a doctor to prescribe antibiotics or drugs to control the pain. Sometimes topical pain medication is used. In some cases, vacuum-assisted closure is used to clean a wound with suction. A dietician may have advice about improving diet to promote healing. When there is a very large bedsore, it may be necessary for a patient to undergo surgery.
Every nursing home is supposed to follow rules about the presence of registered nurses and the availability of a physician. In most cases, a failure to prevent or treat bedsores will be considered a health care liability action, and this means that your attorney will need to follow the requirements pertaining to medical malpractice lawsuits. Among other things, you will need to give pre-suit notice and file a certificate of good faith with your complaint. Your lawyer probably will need to consult with at least one medical expert who has looked at the facts and concluded that there was a good-faith basis to pursue damages.Discuss Your Nursing Home Injury Case with a Knoxville Lawyer
If you are concerned about the treatment of a bedsore in an East Tennessee nursing home, you should consult a knowledgeable nursing home negligence attorney. Contact the Hartsoe Law Firm in Knoxville by calling 865-804-1011 or completing our contact form online. We assist injured elderly people in Clinton, Oak Ridge, Alcoa, Louisville, Maryville, LaFollette, Tazewell, Newport, Crossville, Jamestown, Rutledge, Greeneville, Morristown, Chattanooga, Dandridge, Jefferson City, Strawberry Plains, Madisonville, Lenoir City, Loudon, Athens, and other communities in Anderson, Blount, Campbell, Claiborne, Cocke, Cumberland, Fentress, Grainger, Greene, Hamblen, Hamilton, Jefferson, Knox, Monroe, Loudon, McMinn, and Bradley Counties.