When you or a loved one has a long stay in a hospital or nursing home, bedsores are always a risk. Initially, a bedsore may seem like just an uncomfortable inconvenience. Untreated, however, bedsores can become severely infected and even lead to tissue death.
Suddenly, what you thought was a minor complication has made your loved one sick or led to permanently damaged tissue. Hospitalization may be required, and even with Medicare, that can be expensive. The sore or sores, if severe enough, may take years to heal completely. These sores are also referred to as decubitus ulcers, pressure sores, or pressure ulcers.
Bedsores in Florida and Around the U.S.
In nursing homes, approximately 8 percent of residents have at least one instance of a pressure sore. As many as 28 percent of in-home care patients suffer from bedsores at one time or another, while rates in hospitals and rehabilitation facilities are lower. They commonly occur in the elderly and physically disabled, as both groups are often less active. Thus, bedsores are of particular concern in Florida, where the aging population may be more susceptible to this type of injury. As many as 2.5 million patients are affected by bedsores annually.
Patients whose movement is limited long-term should be moved regularly and checked for bedsores by nursing staff. When bedsores are discovered, the afflicted areas should be cleaned and bandaged. The person suffering from bedsores needs to be regularly repositioned to prevent the sores from worsening. Infections associated with bedsores may require antibiotic treatment, topically or orally, depending on the stage of the sore.
Unfortunately, care facilities often fail to reposition patients or residents regularly, and do not notice or appropriately treat bedsores. Close attention is critical, as bedsores progress from easily treatable to serious wounds, and Stage IV bedsores result in dead tissue and can necessitate amputation.
Time Limits for Florida Bedsore-Related Claims
Under Florida law, most medical malpractice claims must be filed within two years of the date of the injury. However, pinpointing the exact timeline can be complicated, as certain factors push back the timeline, and hard caps apply regardless of triggering factors. In short, determining exactly how long you have to file a medical malpractice case will require assessing the specifics of your case.
Bedsore claims may be particularly tricky, in that bedsores develop over time and failure to notice or treat promptly is an element of the claim—there is no obvious and indisputable timeline for the negligence as there would be if an injury had occurred during a surgical procedures. A local medical malpractice attorney is the best source of specific information about time limits in your case.
Regardless of the limitations period, it is in your best interest to speak with a Tampa medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. Your attorneys will be in a better position to gather evidence and collect accurate witness accounts early in the process. In addition, medical malpractice cases require investigation and an opinion from an expert witness before filing, making last-minute claims difficult.
Tampa Bedsore Malpractice Attorneys
Have you or your loved one suffered from a pressure sore while in the care of professionals? If so, has it gone untreated and into advanced stages? Don’t wait to contact one of our experienced malpractice attorneys for a free consultation. Simply fill out the form on this page or call 1-800-253-5523, and you and your loved one will be one step closer to healing.