In Florida, the wellbeing of nursing home residents is a critical concern for families and loved ones. One of the most common and preventable issues in nursing homes is the development of bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers. These painful and potentially life-threatening conditions can be a sign of neglect or nursing home abuse. If you or a loved one has suffered from bedsores in a nursing home, it's important to understand your legal rights and options for seeking justice.

Can a Nursing Home Be Sued for Bedsores in Florida

What are Bedsores and Their Causes?

Bedsores are injuries to the skin and underlying tissue resulting from prolonged pressure on the skin. They often develop on areas of the body that are in constant contact with a bed or wheelchair, such as the heels, ankles, hips, and tailbone. Bedsores can develop quickly, especially in individuals who are immobile or have limited mobility.

The primary causes of bedsores include:

  • Prolonged Immobility: When a person is unable to change positions regularly, the continuous pressure restricts blood flow, leading to tissue damage.
  • Poor Nutrition and Hydration: Adequate nutrition and hydration are essential for maintaining healthy skin and tissues. Malnutrition and dehydration increase the risk of developing bedsores.
  • Moisture: Excess moisture from sweat, urine, or feces can break down the skin, making it more susceptible to bedsores.
  • Friction and Shear: Friction occurs when the skin rubs against clothing or bedding, while shear happens when the skin moves in one direction and the underlying bone moves in another. Both can damage skin and tissue.

Legal Grounds for Suing a Nursing Home

In Florida, nursing homes are required to provide a standard of care that ensures the safety and wellbeing of their residents. When a nursing home fails to meet this standard, resulting in harm to a resident, the facility can be held legally responsible. Bedsores are often a clear indicator of neglect, and several legal grounds can be pursued in a lawsuit against a nursing home:

  1. Negligence: To prove negligence, you must demonstrate that the nursing home breached its duty of care by failing to prevent bedsores and that this breach directly caused harm to the resident. Examples of negligence include not repositioning residents regularly, inadequate staffing, or failing to provide proper nutrition and hydration.
  2. Violation of Resident Rights: Florida law outlines specific rights for nursing home residents, including the right to be free from abuse and neglect. If a nursing home violates these rights, it can be held accountable under the Florida Nursing Home Residents' Bill of Rights.
  3. Medical Malpractice: If a healthcare provider within the nursing home fails to meet the accepted standard of medical care, resulting in bedsores, a medical malpractice claim can be filed. This includes failure to diagnose, treat, or properly manage bedsores.
  4. Wrongful Death: If bedsores lead to severe complications, such as infections or sepsis, and result in the death of a resident, the nursing home can be sued for wrongful death. This requires proving that the bedsores were a direct cause of the resident's death due to the facility's negligence.

Steps to Take if Bedsores are Discovered

If you discover bedsores on a loved one in a nursing home, it is crucial to take immediate action to ensure their safety and wellbeing, as well as to preserve your legal rights. Here are the steps you should follow:

  1. Seek Medical Attention: Ensure that your loved one receives prompt and adequate medical treatment for their bedsores. This may involve hospitalization or specialized wound care.
  2. Document Everything: Keep detailed records of your loved one's condition, including photographs of the bedsores, medical reports, and any communication with the nursing home staff. Documentation is critical in building a strong legal case.
  3. Report the Neglect: File a complaint with the nursing home administration and relevant state regulatory agencies, such as the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA). Reporting the neglect can prompt an investigation and ensure that appropriate measures are taken.
  4. Consult a Lawyer: Contact an experienced attorney who specializes in nursing home neglect cases. A lawyer can help you understand your legal options, gather evidence, and pursue a lawsuit against the nursing home.

How Domnick Cunningham & Yaffa Can Help

At Domnick Cunningham & Yaffa, we are committed to advocating for the rights of nursing home residents and holding negligent facilities accountable. Our experienced team of attorneys understands the complexities of nursing home abuse and neglect cases and is dedicated to securing justice and compensation for victims and their families.

Bedsores are a preventable condition that can indicate serious neglect in nursing homes. If you or a loved one has suffered from bedsores in a Florida nursing home, it is essential to take action to protect your rights and seek justice. Domnick Cunningham & Yaffa is here to help you navigate the legal process and hold negligent nursing homes accountable.

Your loved one's health and dignity are our top priorities, and we are dedicated to ensuring that they receive the care and respect they deserve.   Reach out to us at 561-516-5168 or book a consultation online to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can assist you.