South Florida Pressure Ulcer Injury Lawyers
Seasoned Injury Lawyers Fight for Clients Suffering from Pressure Ulcer Injuries
Even when a hospital and medical team provide competent care for a patient’s illness or injuries themselves, they may fail to take basic steps to ensure that the patient does not succumb to further illness or injury simply as a result of remaining in the hospital for a protracted period of time. Pressure ulcers—also known as bedsores—are injuries that generally develop in patients who have been required to remain in bed for a significant period of time, but the hospital staff has negligently failed to provide the most basic level of care in making sure the patient is moved on a regular basis.
At Gonzalez & Cartwright, we understand how frustrating it is when you or a loved one enter a medical facility for treatment and develop an entirely preventable complication, such as pressure ulcers. We pride ourselves on holding medical professionals accountable for the consequences of their negligence when our clients suffer from pressure ulcers as a result of that neglect. We will fight to obtain a compensation package that not only fully covers the cost of your medical treatment and ongoing care, but also accounts for the pain and suffering that you or your loved one endured as a result.
Progressive Nature of Pressure Ulcers Developed in South Florida Medical Facilities
Pressure ulcers, also known as bed sores, develop progressively over time when a patient is neglected and left to lay in the same position for a protracted period of time. This type of neglect may constitute malpractice on the part of a negligent healthcare professional in and of itself. Pressure ulcers are generally grouped into four classes of injury, and increase in severity the longer you or your loved one are allowed to remain unattended as follows:
- Stage I. When a patient is suffering from stage I, or the least severe of, pressure ulcers, the patient’s skin in the area is likely red or discolored, and may be painful and tender when compared with surrounding skin, but the skin is not broken.
- Stage II. Stage II pressure ulcers result in damaged skin, and the ulcer itself may resemble a blister that is filled with fluid and may rupture. In most cases, Stage II pressure ulcers are shallow, pink or red and only damage the outer layer of skin.
- Stage III. Stage III pressure ulcers are much deeper, and the layer of fat beneath the skin may be exposed. The pressure ulcer itself may become yellowed, which is dead tissue.
- Stage IV. With Stage IV pressure ulcers, muscle tissue and even bone may become visible within the ulcer itself.
Pressure ulcers themselves are relatively easy to prevent. With proper care, even patients who are completely immobile for an extended period of time can be protected by hospital staff who properly move and turn the patient over on a regular basis. Unfortunately, once a pressure ulcer develops, treatment can be difficult and costly. The pressure ulcer may become infected and lead to much more serious medical problems and invasive treatments. Serious complications can include:
- Amputations and loss of limbs,
- Other types of infections,
Attorneys Gonzalez & Cartwright Dedicated to Holding Negligent Hospitals and Medical Professionals Financially Accountable for Pressure Ulcer Injuries in South Florida
Various healthcare research groups have listed pressure ulcers as one of the “never events” identified by the medical community—meaning that pressure ulcers should never be allowed to develop past the stage two level. Medicare and many private insurance companies have agreed with this characterization, and often will not even cover the costs of care associated with serious pressure ulcers developed because of a hospital staff’s negligence.
At Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A., our experienced pressure ulcer injury lawyers will fight to make sure you get the financial compensation that you need both to treat your injuries and to hold the negligent healthcare professionals responsible for their inexcusable actions.
Schedule a Free Consultation Today
If you or a loved one have suffered from a pressure ulcer injury while in a hospital or medical facility in Palm Beach County or elsewhere in South Florida, our experienced medical malpractice lawyers are here to help. These types of injuries can cause lasting damage and are patently unacceptable within the standards developed by the medical community itself. Call us today, or fill out this secure online contact form, to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case. For your convenience, we can travel to your home or medical facility if you are not well enough to travel, and we also speak both fluent Spanish and English.
Frequently Asked Questions About Pressure Ulcer Injuries
FAQ: How do pressure ulcers develop?
Pressure ulcers typically develop when a part of the body (usually a bony part, such as the tailbone area, shoulder blades and hips) experienced pressure over a period of time without relief (in other words, when the patient’s body does not move for an extended period of time). Because blood flow to the area is restricted because of the pressure, a wound develops in that area when the tissue dies from lack of blood. The issue becomes worse over time as tissue continues to die and the pressure ulcer continues to develop.
FAQ: How can pressure ulcers be prevented if I was required to remain in bed and immobile while recovering from my illness?
Nursing staff or other caregivers should, first and foremost, move you on a regular basis—every few hours. They should also take steps to make sure that your skin is both clean and dry. Special materials, including padding, are also available to help alleviate the pressure and prevent the ulcers from occurring. Even if a pressure ulcer does develop, it should never be permitted to progress past the initial stages into a wound that can result in the type of severe complications that pressure ulcers cause all too commonly.