Knoxville Hospital Bedsore Attorney
Bedsores are ulcers in the skin which form when a person has been sitting or lying in a position for a long time. The pressure restricts blood flow to a spot of the skin, which is damaged and might even die. Once an ulcer forms, it will only grow deeper and affect underlying tissue unless doctors treat it promptly.
At Atkins Brezina, PLLC we have met with countless patients who suffered a bedsore. These are fairly common injuries in hospitals, but they can cause many complications. Reach out to our Knoxville hospital bedsore attorney today to find out if you can sue.
Hospitals Should Prevent Bedsores
One important measure to prevent bedsore formation is to regularly reposition patients. If patients cannot move themselves, then staff should do so. This might mean using a team of orderlies or assistants to move a patient once every two hours so that no part of the body is under constant pressure. Hospitals should also ensure that any excess moisture is wiped away, since it can contribute to friction and skin damage.
Hospitals have another incentive: the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid have refused to reimburse hospitals for bedsore treatment if the sore develops while in the hospital. This could represent a substantial loss of income for hospitals.
Pressure Sores Can Damage Underlying Tissue
Doctors typically classify bedsores by stage:
- In Stage 1, the skin is damaged, but no ulcer has formed.
- In Stage 2, a bedsore develops on the upper layer of skin, leading to bleeding and possibly infection.
Stage 1 and 2 sores are very treatable, but they should be caught in time. Any ulcer should be cleaned to prevent infection and properly dressed. Patients should also be regularly repositioned to prevent current sores from worsening or new ones from forming.
Unfortunately, Stage 3 and 4 sores damage underlying tissue:
- In Stage 3, the fat beneath the skin is damaged.
- In Stage 4, underlying nerves, muscle, and even bone can become damaged.
These more serious sores could require a regimen of antibiotics, debriding, and possibly surgery to correct. Because so many germs are circulating in hospitals, the risk of infection is very high. Some Stage 4 bedsores even lead to amputation.
Hospitals Should Be Held Accountable
Because bedsores are preventable, any patient who develops one should consider a claim for medical malpractice. Hospitals who fail to monitor patients for bedsores or regularly reposition them must be held accountable.
If you developed a Stage 3 or 4 sore, then a hospital is shockingly negligent. They either never checked for Stage 1 or 2 sores, or they provided poor treatment which failed to arrest the bedsore’s progression. Either way, a hospital has failed to provide adequate care to patients and should pay compensation to cover the cost of finally treating the sore, lost income, and pain and suffering.
Schedule a Consultation with Atkins Brezina, PLLC
Michael Brezina is an experienced Knoxville medical malpractice attorney who has taken on many hospitals on behalf of injured patients. Sometimes a lawsuit is the only way to obtain justice when negligent hospitals, doctors, and nurses injure patients. Please contact our law firm to schedule a consultation.