There is a natural belief that when New York nursing home residents experience unexpected health issues that the facility itself was negligent. In some instances, that is true. In others, however, it is not. For example, some medical conditions stem from uncontrollable factors and the staff did everything in its power to ensure the resident was treated based on the applicable standard of care.
One example of an injury that family members often blame on staff is bedsores. These are painful skin injuries that come about from a person being in bed or seated in a chair for too long. While it is easy to blame the staff, there are times when they happen due to circumstances beyond their control and there is no justifiable reason to file a legal claim.
Facilities that follow the rules can effectively combat lawsuits
Bedsores appear on parts of the body that are in contact with the bed or the chair when the resident sits for an extended period. They are common on the buttocks and the rear of the arms and legs. They can also be on the hips and the back of the head. They are also referred to as “pressure” sores because that leads to them coming about. Friction and the skin and bones heading in opposite directions can also cause it.
People who have limited mobility, are incontinent, or are lacking in sensory perception like those with a spinal cord injury are vulnerable to bedsores. There can be long-term problems such as infections and even cancer.
There are rules that nursing homes must adhere to with preventing and treating bedsores. After the full assessment of the resident’s needs, the facility and its staff need to make certain that the resident who does not have bedsores upon admission does not develop them unless they were unavoidable regardless of the treatment and attention. If there are bedsores when the resident enters the facility, they must be given appropriate treatment to heal them, avoid infection and stop any new sores from appearing.
Facilities should defend against unfounded allegations
It is understandable when family members want to hold someone else responsible for their loved one’s medical condition, particularly when it is something like a bedsore that can be prevented with adequate care.
Still, just because a person developed bedsores or had them when they arrived at a facility does not mean that the nursing home and its staff are responsible. There are avenues of nursing home neglect defense that can be used to fight these accusations and knowing how to do so can maintain a facility’s reputation and keep its owners from being obligated to pay compensation.