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scottsdale • phoenix
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Phoenix Bed Sores Lawyer

Bedsores, also called decubitus ulcers or pressure sores, are a serious and preventable medical condition in nursing homes throughout Phoenix. These painful injuries are the result of continued pressure on particular parts of the body and can be a sign of neglect.

If you or a loved one develop a bedsore while residing in a Phoenix nursing home, we urge you to speak with a legal professional. Bedsores alone can turn deadly, but they are often an indicator of a dangerous environment. At Knapp & Roberts, we fight for nursing home residents and their families who suffer from bedsores and other injuries and ensure nursing homes are held liable for their abusive and neglectful behavior.

Knapp & Robert’s Phoenix bedsores attorneys are:

  • Compassionate and devoted to nursing home residents and their families;
  • Aggressive and determined to help residents and families recover acknowledgment and compensation for their pain and suffering; and
  • Skilled and capable of pursuing extensive nursing facilities and their insurance companies both inside and outside of the courtroom.

Call Knapp & Roberts today to discuss your situation. One of our bedsores attorneys can meet with you at no cost and evaluate your case. There is never a risk to finding out what your legal options may be and whether you may qualify for financial recovery.

How a Phoenix Bedsores Attorney Can Help

Claims against nursing homes for bedsore injuries can be remarkably complicated. Evidence of improper care needs to be carefully assembled. Decisions have to be made about which people and which businesses should be held responsible and exactly what damages were suffered as a result of the improper care.

The reality is that decubitus ulcers can be prevented by diligence and attention to the residents at risk for them. Reality too often conflicts with this as nursing homes are regularly understaffed by people who are poorly trained and paid very low wages.

Successfully presenting and proving a nursing home claim requires an experienced legal firm with the resources necessary to undertake the task. At Knapp & Roberts, we have a track record of success in doing so.

Our bedsores attorneys in Phoenix work with victims and their families every day to hold nursing homes accountable for their wrongdoing. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Gathering evidence such as medical records and witness statements to support claims;
  • Enlisting medical doctors and other experts to determine the cause of bedsores;
  • Assessing the total amount of financial damages, both current and future;
  • Speaking with family members and the resident to gauge other losses;
  • Negotiating a financial settlement when possible; or
  • Litigating a lawsuit in court.

Knapp & Roberts will handle the entire legal process from start to finish. You and your family will never feel alone, and your questions will be answered. It is vital to our bedsores attorneys that you can focus on healing physically and emotionally and trust us to manage your nursing home claim.

What Are Bed Sores?

Bedsores, pressure sores, or decubitus ulcers, are injuries to the skin and the tissues beneath the skin. They are caused by friction and prolonged pressure on an area of the body, disrupting the blood supply. Bedsores develop when a nursing home resident remains in the same position for a long time period. They often arise on nursing home residents who lie in a bed or sit in a wheelchair for long stretches at a time.

Bedsores are commonly caused by:

  • Pressure from a hard surface (such as a bed or wheelchair);
  • Pressure placed on the skin from involuntary muscle movements (such as muscle spasms); and
  • Moisture which can break down the outer layer of skin (epidermis).

Many nursing home residents are immobile and must rely on nursing staff for assistance with routine hygiene and daily movement. When neglected, residents become confined to beds or wheelchairs, increasing the risk of developing bedsores.

Where do Bedsores Develop?

Bedsores develop at the pressure point where blood flow is restricted. Typical sites for bedsores include:

  • Elbows;
  • Ears;
  • Buttocks;
  • Heels;
  • Shoulders;
  • Hips; and
  • The back of the head.

The Four Stages of Bedsores

Bedsores are preventable. The earlier bedsores are noticed, the more quickly they can be treated.

There are four stages of bedsores. The stages progress from mild to severe and are as follows

  • Stage one: In stage one, skin is irritated and red;
  • Stage two: Stage two bedsores may appear to blister.  The skin is thin and may indent;
  • Stage three: At stage three, a bedsore has thin skin and seems to crater;
  • Stage four: A stage four bedsore has cratered skin.  The skin may open and expose the muscle or bone underneath.  There is typically an odor and pus.

Stage four bedsores are painful and likely to become seriously infected with gangrene and cause sepsis. Amputation of a limb may be needed.

Failure to treat a stage four bedsore can lead to death.

Bedsores detected in an early stage can be treated relatively easily with persistent care as they are confined to the outer-most layers of skin. A nursing home resident with an early-stage bedsore will be subjected to pain and discomfort, and itching.

When bedsores go undetected, they reach more layers of tissue.  Once muscle and bone are affected, any treatment is likely to be surgical. The most advanced cases can lead to infection throughout the body, amputation, or even wrongful death.

Many medical experts believe that residents who are at high-risk for bedsores should be turned every two hours for bedsore prevention.

bed sore lawyer in phoenix arizona

Prevention of Bed Sores in Phoenix Nursing Homes

The best treatment for bed sores is prevention. As bedsores are a well-known risk in Phoenix, Arizona, nursing homes, it is the nursing home’s responsibility to individually assess each resident for bedsores upon arrival.

Facilities need to examine each resident’s risk of developing bedsores, including whether a resident is mobile and to what extent. Then an individual care plan should be put in place to prevent bedsores.

Additionally, nursing home staff should be appropriately trained to:

  • Prevent decubitus ulcers by changing the residents’ positions often;
  • Spot bedsores early when they do develop (staff needs to know what a developing sore looks like and which areas of the body to check frequently);
  • Report the presence of pressure sores to the proper medical authority;
  • Record the presence of the sores in the patient’s record;
  • Carry out the treatment of the sores;
  • Monitor whether the sores are responding to the treatment; and
  • Report and record the progress.

Arizona Laws Against Bedsores & Improper Care

In Arizona, nursing home residents who suffer pressure sores due to a facility’s improper care can sue for damages under the Adult Protective Services Act (APSA). If successful, the law allows recovery of all damages that resulted from the improper care, as well as the possibility of punitive damages and attorneys’ fees.

Most Phoenix, Arizona, nursing homes are also subject to the standards of care prescribed by the federal Nursing Home Reform Act (NHRA). That law has a specific requirement that the facility prevent residents from developing decubitus ulcers and that bedsores be adequately cared for if they do develop.

Contact an Experienced Bedsores Attorney in Phoenix

Bedsores are a serious medical condition that require immediate attention and care. If nursing home staff tries to minimize or otherwise avoid speaking with you about bedsore diagnosis and treatment, they may be avoiding their responsibility. If you would like information about Phoenix nursing home abuse and neglect or your legal rights, contact Knapp & Roberts.

At Knapp & Roberts, we help victims of nursing homes recover for their pain, suffering, and other losses. Nursing homes are accountable when they abuse or neglect their residents. There is no cost to learn about protecting your loved one, so reach out to Knapp & Roberts in Phoenix today.

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The personal injury attorneys in Phoenix, Arizona, at Knapp & Roberts have the compassion and trial lawyer skills to tell your story to a jury. We will get to know you and your family so that we can help the jury understand what has happened to you and your family and how it has changed your lives. Obtain the compensation necessary for the injuries and losses you have suffered.