Bedsore Lawyers in Springfield Explain How Malnourishment Causing Pressure Sores in Nursing Homes Could Be Due to Wrongful Conduct
Malnutrition is a gateway issue for many other more serious complications and problems in nursing homes, including pressure sores or bed sores. According to government research, studies have found that roughly 20% of nursing home residents in the United States had some form of malnutrition. Shockingly, however, research further indicated that malnourishment could actually have been present in almost 67% of nursing home residents, depending on how it is defined. Another study indicated that up to 50% of residents in nursing homes or long-term care facilities had the signs of malnourishment which is related to other injuries such as falls and pressure sores. Indeed, malnourishment causing pressure sores in nursing homes could be due to abuse, neglect, or negligence. Therefore, anytime that you suspect that a loved one is malnourished in a nursing home, or if a loved one develops a pressure sore in a nursing home, contact experienced bedsore lawyers in Springfield for help.
Here at the Noll Law Office, their compassionate legal staff understands how factors like dehydration and malnourishment can create a breeding ground for pressure sores and bedsores. That’s because they are fifth-generation lawyers who are experienced in handling nursing home abuse, neglect, and malpractice cases, understanding how to investigate and prove these complicated types of cases. Although it might not be apparent to you or even other lawyers, the experienced bedsore lawyers in Springfield at the Noll Law Office know that malnourishment causing pressure sores in nursing homes is one of the first places that any investigation should start. To learn more about the next steps and how their skilled legal team can help you, contact them today to schedule a FREE consultation by dialing (217) 414-8889.
Signs of Malnourishment and How It Can Be Nursing Home Abuse, Neglect, or Negligence
When your body is dehydrated and malnourished, it has trouble maintaining itself against the threats that bedsores pose to it. That includes preventing skin and tissue from breaking down when under pressure or friction, as well as healing wounds that form and preventing or fighting infections. In fact, research shows that malnourishment increases the risk for pressure sores, along with other things that are caused by it such as low body weight, undernutrition, weight loss, and related factors.
Therefore, it is important to recognize the signs of malnourishment in a nursing home resident to prevent significant personal injuries. Some of the most common signs of malnourishment include the following:
- Weight loss – Unintentional weight loss is an obvious but significant indicator of malnourishment.
- Fatigue and weakness – Malnourished individuals often experience fatigue and weakness, making it difficult for them to perform daily activities. This can manifest as lethargy, difficulty in moving, or overall reduced energy levels. Although it can be tricky to gauge this for elderly residents, facilities need to be aware of a resident’s baseline and how it changes to monitor for excessive fatigue or weakness.
- Muscle atrophy – Malnourishment can lead to the breakdown of muscle tissue, resulting in muscle wasting or atrophy. This may be observable through decreased muscle mass and strength, which is a very dangerous sign because it can mean that a resident is very prone to pressure sores. Indeed, any type of muscle loss or loss of tone can increase the risks of pressure sores on the lower back, shoulders, and legs.
- Poor wound healing – Malnourished individuals may experience delays in wound healing. This can be evident in slow recovery from injuries, surgical procedures, or of course pressure sores, especially wounds that repeatedly get infected.
- Changes in skin condition – malnutrition can affect the skin, leading to dryness, thinning, or the development of skin conditions. Dry and flaky skin, as well as the loss of subcutaneous fat, are huge red flags when it comes to proper hydration and nutrition in a nursing home, and residents who show these signs may be malnourished and at a high risk of pressure sores.
- Hair and nail changes – Malnourished individuals may experience changes in hair and nail health. This can include thinning hair, brittle nails, and hair discoloration. All of these signs are warning signs for pressure sores too, as hair and nails often deteriorate after skin and muscle – meaning that there is already an increased susceptibility to pressure sores for a resident.
- Dental problems – Malnourished individuals may exhibit poor oral health, including dental cavities, gum disease, and tooth loss.
- Changes in cognitive function – another tricky one to monitor in elderly residents, but malnourishment can impact cognitive function, leading to confusion, memory loss, and difficulty concentrating.
- Increased susceptibility to infections – Malnourished individuals are more susceptible to infections due to a weakened immune system. Frequent infections or prolonged recovery from illnesses or surgeries may indicate malnutrition. They may also allow pressure sores to grow faster and become more damaging.
How Malnourishment Can Cause Pressure Sores Due to Nursing Home Malpractice
The signs of malnourishment and the common issues that they present can easily lead to pressure sores, which is why nursing homes and long-term care facilities need to be very cognizant of hydration and nutrition for their residents. When they are not, malnourishment can greatly increase the risks of pressure sores, including because it:
- Reduces tissue resilience and strength
- Impairs wound healing
- Weakens the immune system
- Decreases subcutaneous fact (allowing pressure sores to go from grades 1 or 2 right to 3 or 4 much faster.
- Causes muscles atrophy
- Increases the effects of dehydration, and
- Makes it much harder for a resident to fight off a pressure sore or to keep it from progressing to a higher stage.
Therefore, a resident who is malnourished and continued to suffer from pressure sores, or has developed a particularly powerful or devastating pressure sore due to malnourishment, may be entitled to compensation for his or her losses in Illinois.
If You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect Harmed Your Loved One, Call the Noll Law Office in Springfield
Pressure sore cases are very hard to prove, especially because of malnourishment. However, with trained and experienced bedsore lawyers, they are not impossible. Many times, victims and their families can be properly compensated for their damages due to the negligence of a nursing home or long-term care provider. That’s why if you or a loved one were seriously injured in Illinois due to a pressure sore, always have an experienced legal team like the one at the Noll Law Office review your case. To learn more about how they may be able to help you and your family, contact them today to schedule a free case evaluation.