Falls and Bedsores
The leading Maine falls and bed sore attorneys of Peter Thompson & Associates are recognized leaders in personal injury law. We are dedicated to helping victims injured by falls, bedsores, and other incidents of nursing home abuse. Our law firm provides caring and compassionate representation to injured victims in Portland and across Maine.
Nursing home abuse is a growing problem in Maine and other states. Like any business, nursing homes have a bottom line and changing staff. At capacity, many facilities have to bring in temporary employees to provide each resident with 24-hour care. For most patients, nursing homes are the last hope to either heal or be sent to hospice. In order to provide around-the-clock care for very sick patients, understaffed facilities often cut corners to get the work done. Staff may forget to frequently check on patients or turn them in bed. Unsupervised or neglected patients who try to move themselves may fall. Patients who remain stagnant develop bed sores. Falls and bedsores often indicate that the nursing facility is not properly caring for its residents.
Falls generally occur when patients are malnourished, dehydrated, or already have limited mobility. They may fall trying to get out of bed or slip on the way to the bathroom. When they are weak or confused due to overmedication or lack of food and hydration, they are at greater risk of falling. Unfortunately, these conditions also put patients at high-risk for developing bed sores. Bedsores are caused by unrelieved pressure on bony parts of the body, such as the buttocks, back, hips, and heels. These are all parts that touch the bed in limited-mobility patients. Over time, the pressure restricts necessary blood circulation to the skin, causing the tissue and surrounding muscle to atrophy. The wound can quickly progress into a deadly medical condition.
Common effects of falls and bedsores include:
- Fractures, broken bones
- Sprains, torn ligaments
- Further lack of mobility
- Skin irritation, abrasion
- Blisters, open sores
- Large-scale skin loss
- Atrophied muscle, tissue
- Damaged bone, tendon, joint
- Lethal infection, sepsis, gangrene
Nursing homes and other medical facilities have a duty to prevent foreseeable falls and bedsores. This requires properly monitoring patients and helping them switch positions or get out of bed. To prevent falls, staff may have to provide restraints, reposition the bed, or accompany patients while they are walking. Ensuring that patients receive the proper nourishment, hydration, and medication also helps in preventing falls caused by dizziness, fainting, or confusion. Nursing facilities also know that the most important part of preventing bed sores is to keep patients clean and dry. Removing soiled clothing and bedding and bathing residents goes a long way in preventing bedsores. For patients with limited mobility, staff must regularly turn them every 2 hours to avoid unrelieved pressure from forming on the body. Nursing homes that have failed in these basic duties have breached the required standard of care and may be liable for negligence.
Studies show that nursing home patients who undergo hip replacement surgery after a fall rarely recover. Slip-and-fall accidents are one of the leading causes of death in the elderly. Those who develop serious bedsores may require extensive wound care, surgery, colostomy, and even amputation. Whether nursing homes neglect their patients due to lack of staff, proper training, or failure to follow orders, they are liable for these injuries. They must compensate the injured patient for the pain, decline in quality of life, and medical expenses associated with the injury. If the fall or bedsores results in a wrongful death, surviving family members are also entitled to damages for the lost relationship with the deceased.
If you or your family was harmed by nursing home negligence, the experienced Maine fall and bedsore lawyers at Peter Thompson & Associates can help. We have successfully handled all types of cases involving preventable falls, bedsores, and other instances of nursing home abuse. Our private investigators and medical experts thoroughly evaluate every case, finding all liable parties responsible for your harm. We have recovered seven-figure verdicts and settlements for injury victims and their families throughout Maine. At Peter Thompson & Associates, we are committed to helping you obtain the best outcome possible at trial or through settlement. Call 800.804.2004 for a free consultation or contact us online.