How Florida Health Care Providers Treat Bedsores
Bedsores are skin lesions that affect areas of the body that do not get sufficient circulation, and they can develop in as little as 3 hours when a person does not shift position. Also called pressure ulcers or decubitus sores, a bedsore starts off red and painful; it can quickly break open the skin and even extend into muscle and bone. Johns Hopkins Medicine describes some of the risk factors, including being confined to a wheelchair, unable to sense pain, or immobile – all of which are present in many different health care settings.
Health care providers are held to a standard of care with respect to treating patients, and it is obvious that they must re-position individuals who are most at risk of developing bedsores. These lesions are extremely painful and can lead to infection, which may turn into the life-threatening condition known as sepsis. The losses are significant, so you should consult with a Tampa medical malpractice attorney to find out about your rights. A description of care options for bedsores is also informative.
Care Options for Bedsores: There are various forms of treatment depending on how far the pressure ulcer has progressed. The measurement of severity goes from the least serious bedsores at Stage 1 to Stage 4, in which there is a large, gaping wound that is likely to become infected. Health care providers have more options at the earliest stages, but these tend to dwindle without treatment. Alternatives include:
- Removing pressure on the affected body part, which is both treatment and prevention;
- Cleaning and sterilizing the wound when the skin is broken;
- Clearing damaged tissue through debridement;
- Ensuring skin remains clean and dry;
- Protecting the pressure ulcer with sterile or medicated dressings; and,
- Providing the patient with antibiotics for infection.
Once bedsores develop, health care providers must closely monitor for signs that the patient has stabilized with the treatment methods administered. If there are indications that the lesion has progressed or has become infected, there may be a need for additional care options.
Recovering Compensation for Medical Costs and Other Losses: Johns Hopkins points out that healing for bedsores can take days or even several months, depending on the patient’s overall physical condition. Recovery is longer if the pressure ulcer becomes infected, which leads to extended periods of hospitalization.
Besides the increased medical costs, there are additional financial and emotional losses. Bedsores are a sign of medical negligence, so you may qualify to recover a wide range of compensation for your losses. Your monetary damages may include amounts for:
- Hospitalization, skin graft procedures, pain medication, and cosmetic surgery;
- Lost wages if you were unable to work;
- Pain and suffering;
- Scarring and disfigurement; and,
- Emotional distress.
Trust a Florida Bedsores Lawyer to Help Enforce Your Rights
For more information on your remedies after suffering bedsores, please contact Greco & Wozniak P.A. to schedule a free case evaluation with a medical malpractice attorney. You can reach our offices in Tampa, FL by calling 813.223.7849 or checking us out online.